Nearly 40% of International Visitors in 2021 were from NZ

Media Release

Travellers from New Zealand were the largest group of international arrivals in 2021, making up nearly 40 per cent of all visitors arriving for a short-term trip, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Migration Statistics, Jenny Dobak said “The high proportion of arrivals from New Zealand in 2021 can be attributed to the trans-Tasman travel bubble in place from April to July 2021, which allowed visitors to arrive quarantine-free into Australia.”

"Although New Zealanders were the largest group of visitors in 2021 (97,000), numbers were substantially lower than in 2019 (1.4 million), the year prior to the impact of the global pandemic."

Annual arrivals of visitors travelling for a short-term trip dropped by 9.2 million since 2019. China saw the largest drop (1.4 million) of any country in 2021. 

At the beginning of the decade China had recorded strong annual growth rates in the number of visitors arriving for a short-term trip, averaging 18 percent per year. In 2019, this had slowed to 0.5 percent. This decline of growth was before any travel restrictions were put in place due to COVID-19. 

Pacific Islanders made up a larger proportion of Australia’s arrivals than in previous years. A combination of the drop in arrivals from all other countries and the use of seasonal worker programs to cover labour shortages meant the Pacific nation of Vanuatu was higher than usual on the list of source countries. 

Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — top 10 source countries(a) — 2021
Country of residence201920202021
New Zealand1,433,780242,46096,830
Hong Kong315,14060,9303,120
ALL COUNTRIES9,465,8901,827,720245,770

(a) Top 10 source countries based on 2021 calendar year.
(b) Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Media notes

  • Short-term trips have a duration of stay of less than 12 months.
  • Information on ABS products being produced to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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