International travel recovers in 2022

Media Release

International travel in Australia has seen a resurgence throughout 2022, with over 19 million arrivals and departures combined across the year, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

  1. Provisional data for the most recent month has not had the full quality assurance methods applied as is done for the earlier months. Provisional estimates will be revised in the next issue of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia.

Jenny Dobak, ABS head of migration statistics, said that while total arrivals for 2022 reached just 45 per cent of 2019 levels, monthly figures showed the recovery building through the year. Total arrivals in December 2022 reached 1.3 million, compared with less than 300,000 in the first month of the year.

"Short-term visitor arrivals in 2022 remained lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of arrivals in January 2022 just 8 per cent of the same period in 2019. However, the number of arrivals increased steadily over the year and by December had grown to 60 per cent of the same period in 2019.

“Similarly, by December 2022, the number of short-term resident returns had increased to 71 per cent of the corresponding month in 2019,” Ms Dobak said.

Visitor arrivals — top 10 source countries

New Zealand is now the largest source of visitors (698,000) and replaces China, which was the largest source of visitors in 2019. Indonesia, Canada and Germany were all in the top 10 source countries for 2022 after not featuring in the top 10 in 2019.

Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — top 10 source countries(a) — 2022
Country of residence2019 ('000)2022 ('000)
New Zealand1,433.78697.62
UK, CIs & IOM715.83399.21
  1. Top 10 source countries based on number of short-term visitor arrivals in 2022.

While New Zealand was largest source of visitors, arrivals from India (303,000) had the strongest recovery in 2022, reaching 76 per cent of its pre-pandemic level from 2019. Singapore (296,000) was the next strongest of the top 10 source countries, reaching 62 per cent of its 2019 level.

In contrast, there were 89,000 arrivals from China, which accounted for just 6 per cent of its pre-pandemic level.

  1. Top 10 source countries based on number of short-term visitor arrivals in 2022.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Media notes

  • Short-term trip has a duration of stay of less than 12 months.
  • Provisional data for January 2023 has limited variables available. It is revised and more variables become available in next month’s publication. More detailed data are currently available for December 2022.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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