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Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia

Statistics on international travel, including tourism trips, arriving in and departing from Australia. Focusing on short-term trips (less than 1 year)

Reference period
April 2020
Released
15/06/2020

Key statistics

  • Overseas visitor arrivals decreased 99.3% since the previous month.
  • Australian resident returns decreased 96.8% since the previous month.
  • Overseas visitor arrival decreased 99.7% since the same month the previous year.
  • Australian resident returns decreased 98.1% since the same month the previous year.

Overseas arrivals and departures statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in, and departing from Australia with a focus on short term trips (less than 1 year). It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

For all Short-term Visitor Arrivals (STVA) and Short-term Resident Returns (STRR) series, the trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 and the seasonally adjusted estimates have been suspended from April 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel. For more information, see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix on the Methodology page.

April 2020 original estimates for short-term trips:

  • Overseas visitor arrivals to Australia decreased 99.3% since the previous month to 2,200 trips, the largest monthly decrease on record
  • Australian resident returns from overseas decreased 96.8% since the previous month to 17,000 trips, also the largest monthly decrease on record.
     
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1.3 Monthly change

 Apr '20Mar '20 to Apr '20
% change
Visitor arrivals — short-term trips  
 Trend
na
na
 Seasonally adjusted
na
na
 Original
2 200
99.3
Resident returns — short-term trips  
 Trend
na
na
 Seasonally adjusted
na
na
 Original
17 000
96.8
na not available - see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix.

Visitor arrivals monthly

Statistics on international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia for short term trips (less than 1 year). It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

For all Short-term Visitor Arrivals (STVA) series, the trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 and the seasonally adjusted estimates have been suspended from April 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel. For more information, see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix on the Methodology page.

Key statistics

Visitors arriving in Australia for a short-term trip in April 2020 (original estimates):

  • Decreased 99.7% since the same month the previous year, the largest decrease on record
  • Reported a total of 2,250 trips
  • With New Zealand as the largest source country, accounting for 16% of all visitor arrivals.
     
Download

Source countries (original estimates)

The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to Australia in April 2020 were:

  • New Zealand (370 trips)
  • USA (180)
  • Germany (170).
     
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  1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.


There were annual decreases of over 97% recorded for each of the top ten source countries.

2.3 Short-term visitor arrivals - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change (original estimates)

Country of ResidenceOriginalApr '19 to Apr '20
% change - original
New Zealand
370
-99.7
USA
180
-99.7
Germany
170
-98.8
UK(b)
140
-99.8
Indonesia
130
-99.0
India
80
-99.7
Philippines
80
-99.5
South Africa
60
-98.9
United Arab Emirates
60
-97.4
Singapore
60
-99.8
a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
b. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

 

State or territory of stay (original estimates)

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. State or territory of stay statistics are only available from original estimates as seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are only applied to source countries.

For those who visited Australia in April 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year, there were decreases of over 99% across all states and territories.

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

2.4 Visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

Map shows negative growth in visitor arrivals by state or territory in April 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year. Tasmania saw a decrease of -99.8%, Queensland saw a decrease of -99.6%, Western Australia saw a decrease of -99.6%, South Australia saw a decrease of -99.6%, the Australian Capital Territory saw a decrease of -99.2%, Victoria saw a decrease of -99.7%. New South Wales saw a decrease of -99.7% and the Northern Territory saw a decrease of -99.8%

2.5 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay(a) - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

State or territory of stayApr '19Apr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
% change - original
NSW
267 170
720
-99.7
Vic.
180 000
480
-99.7
Qld
148 810
640
-99.6
SA
20 480
70
-99.6
WA
62 860
250
-99.6
Tas.
6 540
20
-99.8
NT
7 250
10
-99.8
ACT
7 220
60
-99.2
Australia(b)
700 370
2 250
-99.7
a. Only available from original estimates.
b. Includes Other Territories.

Resident returns monthly

Statistics on international travel movements of residents arriving back in Australia after short term trips (less than 1 year) overseas. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

For all Short-term Resident Returns (STRR) series, the trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 and the seasonally adjusted estimates have been suspended from April 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel. For more information, see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix on the Methodology page.

Key statistics

In April 2020, Australian residents returning from a short-term trip overseas (original estimates):

  • Decreased 98.1% since the same month the previous year, the largest decrease on record
  • Reported a total of 17,050 trips
  • With India as the most popular destination country, accounting for 15% of all those returning.
     
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Destination countries (original estimates)

The three leading destination countries for Australian residents in April 2020 were:

  • India (2,530 trips)
  • UK (1,540)
  • Philippines (1,470).
     
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  1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.


Among the top ten destination countries, there were no annual increases recorded.

The highest annual decreases were recorded for:

  • New Zealand (-99.3%)
  • Indonesia (-99.3%)
  • Thailand (-99.1%)
     

3.3 Short-term resident returns - top 10 destination countries(a) - annual change (original estimates)

Country of stayOriginalApr '19 to Apr '20
% change - original
India
2 530
-91.7
UK(b)
1 540
-95.7
Philippines
1 470
-92.8
USA
900
-98.9
New Zealand
850
-99.3
Indonesia
760
-99.3
Pakistan
650
-82.5
Malaysia
490
-98.2
Thailand
470
-99.1
Peru
400
-77.4
a. Top 10 destination countries based on original estimates.
b. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

 

State or territory of residence (original estimates)

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. State or territory of residence statistics are only available from original estimates as seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are only applied to destination countries.

For those residents who returned to Australia in April 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year, there were decreases of over 97% across all states and territories.

3.4 Resident returns, state or territory of stay - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

3.4 Resident returns, state or territory of residence - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

3.4 Resident returns, state or territory of stay - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

Map shows negative growth in Australian residents who returned to their home state in April 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year. Western Australia saw a decrease of -98.2%, the Australian Capital Territory saw a decrease of -97.7%, Tasmania saw a decrease of -97.9%, Queensland saw a decrease of -98.1%, Victoria saw a decrease of -98.2%, New South Wales saw a decrease of -98.2%, South Australia saw a decrease of -97.8% and the Northern Territory saw a decrease of -98.3%.

3.5 Short-term resident returns, state or territory of residence(a) - annual change to April 2020 (original estimates)

State or territory of residenceApr '19Apr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
% change - original
NSW
310 740
5 720
-98.2
Vic.
259 070
4 680
-98.2
Qld
165 860
3 200
-98.1
SA
36 650
800
-97.8
WA
111 750
1 970
-98.2
Tas.
8 100
170
-97.9
NT
7 580
130
-98.3
ACT
16 400
380
-97.7
Australia(b)
916 440
17 050
-98.1
a. Only available from original estimates.
b. Includes Other Territories.

Visitor arrivals by state or territory

New South Wales

This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

Key statistics

Visitors arriving in New South Wales for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.7% since the same month the previous year
  • There were just over 720 short-term visitor arrivals
  • Largest source countries were New Zealand, USA and UK.
     

Of all arrivals to New South Wales travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there was a:

  • Decrease of 16,940 students, (close to 100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
     
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Visitors arriving in New South Wales for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.5% since the same month the previous year
  • There were just over 80 long-term visitor arrivals.
     

Source countries

The three leading source countries for short-term visitor arrivals to New South Wales in April 2020 were:

  • New Zealand (150 trips)
  • USA (60)
  • UK (50).
     
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  1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
     

There were decreases of over 96% recorded for each of the top ten source countries, when compared to the same month of the previous year.

4.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, NSW - top 10 source countries - annual change - original estimates

Country of ResidenceApr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
% change
New Zealand
150
-99.6
USA
60
-99.8
UK(a)
50
-99.8
Argentina
30
-96.6
Hong Kong
30
-99.7
Singapore
30
-99.6
India
30
-99.7
Indonesia
30
-99.5
New Caledonia
20
-98.6
Philippines
20
-99.7
a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
 

For additional information relating to COVID-19 see the Notes Section.

International students

The outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019, has continued to disrupt the movement of international students this month, due to the introduction of travel restrictions in February 2020. In 2019, China was the largest source country nationally. Educational exports are an important contributor to the Australian economy.

Of all arrivals to New South Wales travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there were just over 10 students, which was a decrease of 16,940 students compared to the same month in the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 4.4 below.

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  1. Includes short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (1 year or more) visitor arrivals.
  2. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

Victoria

This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

Key statistics

Visitors arriving in Victoria for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.7% since the same month the previous year
  • There were just over 480 short-term visitor arrivals
  • Largest source countries were New Zealand, USA and Indonesia.
     

Of all arrivals to Victoria travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there was a:

  • Decrease of 13,180 students (close to 100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
     
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Visitors arriving in Victoria for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.5% since the same month the previous year
  • There were nearly 60 long-term visitor arrivals.
     

Source countries

The three leading source countries for short-term visitor arrivals to Victoria in April 2020 were:

  • New Zealand (90 trips)
  • USA (40)
  • Indonesia (30).
     
Download
  1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
  2. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
     

There were decreases of over 95% recorded for each of the top ten source countries when compared to the same month of the previous year.

5.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Vic. - top 10 source countries - annual change - original estimates

Country of ResidenceApr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
% change
New Zealand
90
-99.7
USA
40
-99.7
Indonesia
30
-99.2
UK(a)
30
-99.7
India
30
-99.7
Unit Arab Emir
30
-95.2
South Africa
30
-96.2
Philippines
20
-99.7
China(b)
10
-100.0
Pakistan
10
-98.3
a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
 

For additional information relating to COVID-19 see the Notes Section.

International students

The outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019, is expected to disrupt the movement of international students, particularly from February, due to the introduction of travel bans. In 2019, China was the largest source country nationally. Educational exports are an important contributor to the Australian economy.

Of all arrivals to Victoria travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there were only 10 students, which was a decrease of 13,180 students compared to the same month in the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 5.4 below.

Download
  1. Includes short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (1 year or more) visitor arrivals.
  2. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.
     

Queensland

This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

Key statistics

Visitors arriving in Queensland for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.6% since the same month the previous year
  • There were nearly 640 short-term visitor arrivals
  • Largest source countries were Germany, New Zealand and USA.
     

Of all arrivals to Queensland travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there was a:

  • Decrease of 7,550 students (close to 100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
     
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Visitors arriving in Queensland for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

  • Decreased 99.3% since the same month the previous year
  • There were nearly 40 long-term visitor arrivals.
     

Source countries

    The three leading source countries for short-term visitor arrivals to Queensland in April 2020 were:

    • Germany (150 trips)
    • New Zealand (90)
    • USA (50).
       
    Download
    1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       

    There were decreases of over 87% recorded for each of the top ten source countries when compared to the same month of the previous year.

    6.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Qld - top 10 source countries - annual change - original estimates

    Country of ResidenceApr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
    % change
    Germany
    150
    -93.8
    New Zealand
    90
    -99.8
    USA
    50
    -99.5
    Tonga
    40
    -90.2
    PNG
    30
    -99.1
    Samoa
    30
    -87.5
    Canada
    20
    -99.4
    Philippines
    20
    -99.1
    France
    20
    -98.8
    UK(a)
    20
    -99.8
    a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
     

    For additional information relating to COVID-19 see the Notes Section.

    ​​​​​​​International students

    The outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019, has continued to disrupt the movement of international students this month, due to the introduction of travel restrictions from February 2020. In 2019, China was the largest source country nationally. Educational exports are an important contributor to the Australian economy.

    Of all arrivals to Queensland travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there were fewer than 10 students, which was a decrease of 7,550 students compared to the same month in the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 6.4 below.

    Download
    1. Includes short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (1 year or more) visitor arrivals.
    2. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

    South Australia

    This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

    Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

    Key statistics

    Visitors arriving in South Australia for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

    • Decreased 99.6% since the same month the previous year
    • There were just over 70 short-term visitor arrivals.
       
    Download

    Visitors arriving in South Australia for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

    • Decreased 99.3% since the same month the previous year
    • There were 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
       

    Due to the small number of movements, no further analysis has been undertaken.

    Western Australia

    This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

    Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

    Key statistics

    Visitors arriving in Western Australia for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

    • Decreased 99.6% since the same month the previous year
    • There were nearly 250 short-term visitor arrivals
    • Largest source countries were Indonesia, New Zealand and UK.
       

    In April 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to Western Australia on an international student visa, which corresponded to a:

    • Decrease of 2,650 students (100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
       
    Download

    Visitors arriving in Western Australia for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

    • Decreased 99.6% since the same month the previous year
    • There were just over 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
       

    Source countries

      The three leading source countries for short-term visitor arrivals to Western Australia in April 2020 were:

      • Indonesia (50 trips)
      • New Zealand (30)
      • UK (30).
         
      Download
      1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
      2. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
         

      There were decreases of over 98% recorded for each of the top ten source countries, when compared to the same month of the previous year.

      8.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, WA - top 10 source countries - annual change - original estimates

      Country of ResidenceApr '20Apr '19 to Apr '20
      % change
      Indonesia
      50
      -98.1
      New Zealand
      30
      -99.4
      UK(a)
      30
      -99.7
      USA
      20
      -99.2
      Malaysia
      10
      -99.8
      South Africa
      10
      -99.3
      Singapore
      10
      -99.9
      China(b)
      10
      -99.8
      Philippines
      10
      -99.5
      India
      10
      -99.8
      a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
       

      For additional information relating to COVID-19 see the Notes Section.

      International students

      In April 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to Western Australia on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 2,650 students (100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      Tasmania

      This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

      Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

      Key statistics

      Visitors arriving in Tasmania for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 99.8% since the same month the previous year
      • There were just over 10 short-term visitor arrivals.
         
      Download

      Visitors arriving in Tasmania for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 98.6% since the same month the previous year
      • There were fewer than 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      Due to the small number of movements, no further analysis has been undertaken.

      Northern Territory

      This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

      Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

      Key statistics

      Visitors arriving in the Northern Territory for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 99.8% since the same month the previous year
      • There were just over 10 short-term visitor arrivals.
         
      Download

      Visitors arriving in Northern Territory for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 99.2% since the same month the previous year
      • There were fewer than 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      Due to the small number of movements, no further analysis has been undertaken.

      Australian Capital Territory

      This series of feature articles provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the state and territory level. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

      Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

      Key statistics

      Visitors arriving in Australian Capital Territory for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 99.2% since the same month the previous year
      • There were nearly 60 short-term visitor arrivals.
         
      Download

      Visitors arriving in Australian Capital Territory for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in April 2020:

      • Decreased 99.1% since the same month the previous year
      • There were nearly 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      Due to the small number of movements, no further analysis has been undertaken.

      International student arrivals - Australia - Apr 2020

      This feature article provides detail of overseas traveller movements at the national level for international student arrivals. The additional information is provided in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019.

      Visitor arrivals statistics are international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of trips rather than the number of people. All data in this article has used original estimates as trend and seasonally adjusted estimates are not available for all variables being analysed.

      Key statistics

      Of all arrivals to Australia travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there was a:

      • Decrease of 44,470 students (close to 100%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 which started in China in December 2019, has continued to disrupt the movement of international students this month, due to the introduction of travel restrictions from February 2020. In 2019, China was the largest source country nationally. Educational exports are an important contributor to the Australian economy.

      Of all arrivals to Australia travelling on an international student visa in April 2020, there were nearly 30, which was a decrease of 44,470 students, compared to the same month in the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 12.1 below.

      Download
      1. Includes short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (1 year or more) visitor arrivals.
      2. Anyone travelling on an international student visa whether it be for a short-term or long-term movement. This is not the same as when a traveller self reports 'education' as their main reason for journey, as shown in Table 6 for short-term visitor arrivals under the Data downloads.
      3. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

      Visitor arrivals annually - 2019

      Statistics on travel movements of persons arriving in Australia for short term trips (i.e. less than 1 year). It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

      Key statistics

      Visitors arriving in Australia in 2019 (original estimates).

      • There were 9.5 million visitor arrivals, the highest year on record
      • China was the largest source country with over 1.4 million visitors nationally, largest source for NSW, Vic, SA, Tas. and the ACT
      • There were more visits by women than men. The opposite was true in 2009
      • The main reason for travel was holiday (47%)
      • Nationally, the median duration of stay in Australia was 10 days.
         

      Short-term visitor arrivals

      The record annual 9.5 million visitors in 2019 was 3.9 million more than 10 years earlier and 220,300 more than 1 year ago. There has generally been an ongoing increase of visitor arrivals to Australia over recent decades.

      • Peaks were seen during Brisbane Expo in 1988 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000
      • Decreases were experienced during the Asian financial crisis from 1998, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008.
      • Australia experienced strong increases during 2015 and 2016.
         
      Download

      Source countries

      Residents from nearly every country around the world visited Australia in 2019. China (1.44 million) remained the largest source country for visitor arrivals with New Zealand (1.43 million) in second place. This reflects strong growth in the number of Chinese visitors over the decade, with a 297% increase since 2009. However, this growth has slowed more recently (0.46% from 2018 to 2019) and is likely to decrease in early 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

      Download
      1. Top 5 source countries based on year ending December 2019.
      2. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         


      Among the top 10 source countries, there was also strong growth from other Asian countries over the last decade.

      13.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia - top 10 source countries(a) - 2019 - year ending

      Country of Residence'0002018 to 2019
      % change
      2009 to 2019
      % change
      China
      1439
      0.5
      296.7
      New Zealand
      1434
      3.5
      30.4
      USA
      818
      3.7
      68.9
      UK(b)
      716
      -2.4
      4.6
      Japan
      499
      6.2
      40.9
      Singapore
      479
      6.8
      94.1
      India
      399
      11.6
      234.4
      Malaysia
      385
      -4.0
      88.5
      Hong Kong
      315
      2.1
      118.6
      Korea, South
      280
      -2.6
      51.0
      a. Top 10 source countries based on year ending December 2019.
      b. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       

      State or territory of stay

      All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. The proportion of short-term visitor arrivals by intended state or territory in 2019, were as follows:

      • NSW (37% of all short-term visitors)
      • Vic. (27%)
      • Qld (21%)
      • SA (3%)
      • WA (9%)
      • Tas. (1.0%)
      • NT (0.8%)
      • ACT (1.2%).


      In 2009 this pattern was slightly different, with more visitors intending to stay in Qld than in Vic. All states and territories recorded growth in international visitors in the ten year period.

      Download

      At the state and territory level, the mix of source countries varies from that at the national level.

      During 2019:

      • China was the leading source country for NSW, Vic., SA, Tas. and the ACT
      • New Zealand provided the most visitors for Qld
      • Singapore for WA
      • The USA for the NT.


      Ten years earlier in 2009, New Zealand was the leading source country for NSW, Vic., Qld, and Tas. However, the UK was the leading source country for SA and WA, and the USA for the NT and ACT.

      Age and sex

      There were more visits to Australia by women than men in 2019 (4.9 million women compared with 4.5 million men). The opposite was true in 2009 (2.9 million men and 2.7 million women).

      In 2019, men and women visiting Australia had the same median age (40 years). The largest group of visitor arrivals were aged between 25 and 29 years. There were also large numbers of women arriving aged 56 with the largest source country being from China at this age.

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      Main reason for journey

      In 2019, the most frequently stated main reason for journey by short-term visitors to Australia was:

      • holiday (47%)
      • visiting friends and relatives (30%)
      • business (7.1%)
      • education (6.6%).


      Female visitors were more likely than males to record their main reason for journey as holiday (50% of all females compared with 44% of all males), visiting friends and relatives (33% compared with 27%), and education (6.6% compared with 6.5%). Male visitors, on the other hand were more likely to travel to Australia for business (11% of all males compared with 3% of all females), to attend a convention/conference (4% compared with 3%), and for employment (3% compared with 2%).

      Duration of stay

      Visitors are asked their intended duration in Australia upon arrival.

      During 2019, the median duration of stay in Australia was 10 days. However, this varies between the states and territories and between the numerous source countries. It also varies depending on a traveller's main reason for journey.

      In 2019, the median duration of days for those visiting SA and ACT was 16 days, whereas for NSW and Qld it was 10 days. Those from India (with a median duration of stay of 40 days) stated their intention to stay longer than most others but this also varied between the states and territories. Those from Japan only visited for 6 days on average.

      13.6 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia - top 10 source countries(a) by state/territory of stay - median duration of stay - 2019

       NSW
      days
      Vic.
      days
      Qld
      days
      SA
      days
      WA
      days
      Tas.
      days
      NT
      days
      ACT
      days
      Aust.(b)
      days
      India
      30
      49
      30
      70
      61
      56
      61
      61
      40
      UK(c)
      16
      20
      20
      21
      21
      20
      19
      17
      19
      China
      12
      14
      10
      30
      15
      30
      12
      90
      12
      USA
      10
      11
      11
      13
      13
      14
      16
      10
      10
      Hong Kong
      9
      10
      10
      11
      9
      9
      10
      12
      10
      Malaysia
      8
      9
      8
      10
      7
      10
      8
      11
      8
      Singapore
      7
      8
      8
      9
      7
      10
      7
      9
      8
      Korea (South)
      6
      10
      9
      13
      10
      10
      8
      11
      7
      New Zealand
      5
      5
      7
      7
      10
      8
      11
      6
      7
      Japan
      6
      7
      6
      10
      6
      7
      6
      7
      6
      All countries
      10
      12
      10
      16
      12
      12
      15
      16
      10
      a. Top 10 source countries are based at the Australia level.
      b. Includes Other Territories.
      c. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       


      The duration of stay of short-term visitors to Australia varied by their reason for journey:

      • Those travelling for employment and education stayed the longest (122 days)
      • visiting friends and relatives (16 days)
      • holiday (9 days)
      • business travellers and those travelling for conventions/conferences stayed the shortest (6 days).

      Resident returns annually - 2019

      Statistics on travel movements of residents arriving back in Australia after short term trips (i.e. less than 1 year) overseas. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

      Key statistics

      Australian residents returning to Australia in 2019 (original estimates).

      • There were 11.3 million resident returns to Australia from overseas, the highest year on record.
      • New Zealand continued to be the leading destination country for Australians travelling overseas, with nearly 1.5 million trips
      • Indonesia was the leading destination for those living in SA, WA and the NT
      • The main reason for travel was holiday (57%)
      • Nationally, the median duration away was 14 days.
         

      Short-term resident returns

      The record annual 11.3 million resident trips in 2019 was 5.1 million more than 10 years earlier and 247,500 more than 1 year ago. There has generally been an ongoing increase of Australian residents travelling overseas over recent decades. However, decreases were experienced due to various historical events such as the:

      • early 1990s recession in Australia
      • September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001
      • Bali bombings in 2002
      • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003
      • Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008.
         
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      Destination countries

      Australians travelled across the globe during 2019:

      • New Zealand (1.46 million trips) remained the leading destination country
      • Indonesia moved from fourth to second over the last decade (1.40 million - an increase of 156%)
      • The USA (1.06 million) was the third leading destination but had a lower level than its peak in 2018.
         
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      1. Top 5 destination countries based on year ending December 2019.
      2. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top 10 destination countries, the strongest growth over the last decade was for Australians visiting Asian countries.

      14.3 Short-term resident returns, Australia - top 10 destination countries(a) - 2019 - year ending

      Destination Country'0002018 to 2019
      % change
      2009 to 2019
      % change
      New Zealand
      1 463
      1.9
      43.8
      Indonesia
      1 401
      9.4
      156.4
      USA
      1 056
      -3.6
      83.2
      UK(b)
      663
      0.0
      41.3
      China
      608
      2.4
      134.9
      Thailand
      543
      -5.2
      40.2
      Japan
      522
      13.3
      230.4
      India
      426
      8.6
      200.2
      Singapore
      417
      0.4
      83.3
      Fiji
      345
      0.9
      35.8
      a. Top 10 destination countries based on year ending December 2019.
      b. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       

      State or territory of residence

      All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. The proportion of short-term resident returns by their state or territory of residence in 2019, were as follows:

      • NSW (34% of all short-term resident returns)
      • Vic. (28%)
      • Qld (18%)
      • SA (5%)
      • WA (12%)
      • Tas. (1.0%)
      • NT (0.9%)
      • ACT (2%).


      In 2009 this pattern was very similar with a slightly higher proportion of those travelling overseas from NSW (36%), WA (14%), Tas. (1.1%) and NT (1.0%).

      Download


      At the state and territory level, the mix of destination countries varied from that at the national level.

      During 2019:

      • New Zealand was the leading destination country for residents of NSW, Vic., Qld, Tas. and the ACT
      • Indonesia was the leading destination for those from SA, WA and the NT.


      Ten years earlier in 2009, New Zealand was the leading destination for residents of all state and territories except for WA and the NT (for which Indonesia was the leading destination).

      Age and sex

      There were more trips taken overseas by Australian men than women in 2019 (5.9 million men compared with 5.4 million women), similar to 2009 (3.3 million men and 2.9 million women).

      In 2019, Australian men and women travelling overseas had a similar median age (42 years and 41 years respectively). Among those aged 18 to 30, there were more trips undertaken by women than men.

      Download

      Main reason for journey

      In 2019, the most frequently stated main reason for journey by Australian residents returning home after a short-term trip was:

      • holiday (57%)
      • visiting friends and relatives (26%)
      • business (8%).


      Female residents were more likely than males to record their main reason as a holiday (61% of all females compared with 54% of all males), visiting friends and relatives (28% compared with 24%), and education (1.3% compared with 1.1%). Male residents were more likely to travel overseas for business (12% of all males compared with 4% of all females), to attend a convention/conference (3% compared with 2%), and for employment (2% compared with 1%).

      Duration of stay

      For Australian residents returning from overseas their exact duration away is measured.

      During 2019, the median duration away for Australians on a short-term trip was 14 days. However, this varies between the states and territories and between the numerous destination countries. It also varies greatly depending on a traveller's main reason for journey.

      In 2019, the median duration away overseas for Victorians, South Australians, Tasmanians and those from the ACT was 15 days, whereas for those from WA and the NT it was 12 days. Those travelling to the UK were usually away for an average of 24 days which was longer than all the other top 10 destinations. Those travelling to Fiji were away for 7 days on average.

      14.6 Short-term resident returns, Australia - top 10 destination countries(a) by state/territory of residence - median duration of stay - 2019

       NSW
      days
      Vic.
      days
      Qld
      days
      SA
      days
      WA
      days
      Tas.
      days
      NT
      days
      ACT
      days
      Aust.(b)
      days
      UK(c)
      24
      24
      26
      26
      23
      31
      25
      26
      24
      India
      22
      25
      23
      27
      22
      19
      25
      23
      23
      China
      17
      18
      15
      17
      15
      16
      15
      17
      17
      USA
      15
      16
      16
      17
      19
      19
      17
      16
      16
      Japan
      14
      15
      14
      15
      15
      15
      15
      15
      14
      Thailand
      11
      12
      12
      12
      11
      13
      12
      12
      12
      Indonesia
      10
      10
      9
      9
      7
      11
      8
      9
      9
      Singapore
      8
      8
      8
      9
      7
      11
      6
      8
      8
      New Zealand
      7
      7
      8
      10
      12
      10
      11
      8
      8
      Fiji
      7
      8
      7
      7
      8
      8
      8
      7
      7
      All countries
      14
      15
      14
      15
      12
      15
      12
      15
      14
      a. Top 10 destination countries are based at the Australia level.
      b. Includes Other Territories.
      c. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       

      The duration of stay of short-term trips by Australian residents going overseas varied by their reason for journey:

      • Those travelling for employment stayed away the longest (24 days)
      • visiting friends and relatives (20 days)
      • education (19 days)
      • holiday (13 days)
      • business travellers stayed the shortest (7 days).

      Notes

      Suspension of seasonally adjusted estimates

      The seasonally adjusted estimates have been suspended from April 2020 for all Short-term Visitor Arrival (STVA) and Short-term Resident Return (STRR) series due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel.

      The seasonally adjusted estimates will be reintroduced when patterns in the underlying behaviour of passenger travel movements stabilise. Original estimates can be produced and will continue to be published as usual.

      For more details on seasonally adjusted estimates, please see paragraphs 20-35 of the Explanatory Notes and the ABS Feature Article: When It's not "Business-as-usual": Implications for ABS Time Series (cat. no. 1350.0 for Aug 2009).

      Suspension of trend estimates

      The trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 for all STVA and STRR series due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel. For more details on trend estimates, please see paragraphs 20-35 of the Methodology.

      COVID-19 from February 2020

      In response to the need for additional data and analysis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABS is releasing a series of feature articles containing additional state and territory level analysis of overseas visitor arrivals over the coming months, as well as national and state and territory information on arrivals of overseas students. See the left hand navigation pane to access information on a specific state/territory or article.

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the COVID-19 outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. This was less than a month after suspected cases were reported in Wuhan, China. The Australian Government placed travel restrictions on those travelling to Australia initially from mainland China commencing 1 February. Other restrictions from other countries soon followed as the crisis worsened around the globe. From 20 March 2020, all overseas travel was banned, with few exceptions. For more information, see the Prime Minister's media release on border restrictions or the Smartraveller page from the Australian government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

      Data notes

      This release contains overseas movement data which should not be interpreted as 'persons'. See Explanatory Note 7 in the Methodology for more detail.

      The statistics in this release have been rounded. See Explanatory Notes 36-38 in the Methodology for more detail.

      Inquiries

      For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to the ABS.

      Data downloads

      I-note

      1. For all Short-term Visitor Arrivals (STVA) and Short-term Resident Returns (STRR) series, the trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 and the seasonally adjusted estimates have been suspended from April 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international travel. For more information, see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix.

      2. For further information about the data, including updates or changes, see the Methodology page of this issue and the related Appendices such as Data Quality Issues.

      3. Short-term arrival movements are usually based on a sample and subject to sampling error. However, from April 2020 a full enumeration has been undertaken due to the small volume of international travel movements caused by the impact of COVID-19. See paragraphs 10-12 of the Methodology page of this issue.

      4. Occasionally situations occur that necessitate breaks being applied to the trend series. For an overview of the breaks currently included in the trend series, see paragraphs 32-33 of the Methodology page of this issue.

      Table 1: Total movement, arrivals - category of movement

      Table 2: Total movement, departures - category of movement

      Table 3: Short-term movement, visitors arriving - selected countries of residence: trend

      Table 4: Short-term movement, visitors arriving - selected countries of residence: seasonally adjusted

      Table 5: Short-term movement, visitors arriving - selected countries of residence: original

      Table 6: Short-term movement, visitors arriving - intended length of stay and main reason for journey: original

      Table 7: Short-term movement, residents returning - selected destinations: trend

      Table 8: Short-term movement, residents returning - selected destinations: seasonally adjusted

      Table 9: Short-term movement, residents returning - selected destinations: original

      Table 10: Short-term movements, residents returning - length of stay and main reason for journey: original

      Table 11: Short-term movement, visitors arriving - state of intended stay: original

      Table 12: Short-term movement, residents returning - state of intended stay: original