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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
January 2020
Released
16/03/2020

Key statistics

  • Overseas visitor arrivals increased 0.1% since the previous month to 788,900.
  • Australia resident returns increased 0.4% since the previous month to 969,400.
  • Overseas visitor arrivals increased 1.6% since the same month previous year.
  • Australian resident returns increased 3.8% since the same month 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.

January 2020 trend estimates for short-term trips:

  • Overseas visitor arrivals to Australia increased 0.1% since the previous month to 788,900 trips
  • Australian resident returns from overseas increased 0.4% since the previous month to 969,400 trips.
     

1.3 Monthly and annual change

 Jan '20Dec '19 to Jan '20Jan '19 to Jan '20
'000% change% change
Visitor arrivals — short-term trips   
 Trend788.90.11.6
 Seasonally adjusted770.0-3.3..
 Original766.6....
Resident returns — short-term trips   
 Trend969.40.43.8
 Seasonally adjusted958.6-1.0..
 Original1397.4....

.. not applicable

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.

Key statistics

Visitors arriving in Australia for a short-term trip in January 2020 (trend estimates):

  • Increased 0.1% since the previous month to 788,900 trips
  • Increased 1.6% since the same month previous year
  • Reported New Zealand as the largest source country, accounting for 15% of all visitor arrivals.
     
  1. For more information see methodology 19-32. For breaks in trend series see methodology 30-31.
     

Source countries (trend estimates)

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

  • New Zealand (121,300 trips)
  • China (112,700)
  • USA (68,800).
     
  1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
  2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
     

Among the top ten source countries, the highest annual increases were recorded for:

  • India (10.9%)
  • Japan (6.0%)
  • Hong Kong (4.0%).
     

The highest annual decreases were recorded for:

  • China (-5.5%)
  • Malaysia (-2.4%)
  • UK (-0.8%)
     

2.3 Visitor arrivals - top 10 source countries(a) - monthly and annual change

 TrendSeasonally adjustedOriginalDec '19 to Jan '20Jan '19 to Jan '20
Country of Residence'000'000'000% change - trend% change -trend
New Zealand121.3120.497.10.53.9
China(b)112.7105.4156.6-1.8-5.5
USA68.870.470.61.1-0.0
UK(c)60.059.572.1-0.2-0.8
Japan42.843.034.00.96.0
Singapore38.837.919.4-0.20.9
India34.532.824.5-0.410.9
Malaysia31.029.514.4-0.6-2.4
Hong Kong26.927.626.80.94.0
Korea, South23.422.829.40.03.0

a. Top 10 source countries based on trend estimates.
b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
c. 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 January 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year, there was:

  • an increase of 24.5% more visitors to Western Australia
  • an increase of 22.4% more visitors to Tasmania
  • a decrease of -12.6% fewer visitors to the Australian Capital Territory
     

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

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

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

    Map shows growth in visitor arrivals by state or territory in January 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year. Tasmania saw an increase of 22.4%, Queensland saw an increase of 5.1%, Western Australia saw an increase of 24.5%, South Australia saw an increase of 8.7%, Northern Territory saw an increase of 17.2% and Victoria saw an increase of 6.2%. These were offset by falls in New South Wales (-0.8%) and Australian Capital Territory (-12.6%).

    2.5 Visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay(a) - annual change to December 2019 (original estimates)

     Jan '19Jan '20Jan '19 to Jan '20
    State or territory of stay'000'000% change - original
    NSW282.7280.4-0.8
    Vic.205.6218.26.2
    Qld141.5148.75.1
    SA22.524.48.7
    WA58.973.324.5
    Tas.8.510.422.4
    NT3.44.017.2
    ACT8.07.0-12.6
    Australia(b)731.1766.64.8

    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.

    Key statistics

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

    • Increased 0.4% since the previous month to 969,400 trips
    • Increased 3.8% since the same month previous year
    • Reported Indonesia as the most popular destination country, accounting for 13% of all those returning.
       
    1. For more information see methodology 19-32. For breaks in trend series see methodology 30-31.
       

    Destination countries (trend estimates)

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

    • Indonesia (125,000 trips)
    • New Zealand (124,700)
    • USA (86,600).
       
    1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    2. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
       

    Among the top ten destination countries, the highest annual increases were recorded for:

    • Japan (21.9%)
    • Singapore (16.2%)
    • Indonesia (14.3%).
       

    The highest annual decreases were recorded for:

    • Thailand (-9.2%)
    • USA (-4.1%)
       

    3.3 Resident returns - top 10 destination countries(a) - monthly and annual change

     TrendSeasonally adjustedOriginalDec '19 to Jan '20Jan '19 to Jan '20
    Country of stay'000'000'000% change - trend% change -trend
    Indonesia125.0124.8143.20.414.3
    New Zealand124.7124.0201.9-0.23.2
    USA86.680.9112.30.1-4.1
    UK(b)56.356.682.50.82.1
    China(c)52.761.472.51.34.1
    Japan48.344.887.8-0.121.9
    Thailand42.542.154.4-1.1-9.2
    Singapore38.639.350.20.516.2
    India36.535.488.40.84.4
    Fiji29.329.036.20.02.0

    a. Top 10 source countries based on trend estimates.
    b. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    c. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.

     

    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 January 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year, there was:

    • an increase of 3.7% travelling home to Queensland
    • an increase of 3.7% travelling home to Tasmania
    • a decrease of -6.5% travelling home to Northern Territory
       

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

      3.4 Resident returns, State or territory of residence - Annual change to January 2020 (original estimates)

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

      Map shows growth in Australian residents who returned to their home state in January 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year. Western Australia saw an increase of 1.8%, Tasmania saw an increase of 3.7%, Queensland saw an increase of 3.7%, Victoria saw an increase of 0.2%, New South Wales saw a decrease of 1.2%, South Australia saw a decrease of 2.7%, the Australian Capital Territory saw a decrease of 2.6% and finally the Northern Territory saw a decrease of 6.5%.

      3.5 Resident returns, state or territory of residence(a) - annual change to January 2020 (original estimates)

       Jan '19Jan '20Jan '19 to Jan '20
      State or territory of residence'000'000% change - original
      NSW495.2489.1-1.2
      Vic.363.1363.90.2
      Qld255.9265.33.7
      SA53.752.2-2.7
      WA175.7178.91.8
      Tas.8.99.23.7
      NT13.112.3-6.5
      ACT27.026.3-2.6
      Australia(b)1392.81397.40.3

      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 NSW for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Decreased 0.8% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were China, USA and New Zealand
      • China increased 7.4% since the same month previous year
      • Japan had the largest decrease (-13.9%).
         

      Of all arrivals to NSW travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 680 students (2%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to NSW in January 2020 were:

      • China (59,900 trips)
      • USA (37,400)
      • New Zealand (29,100).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (38.3%)
      • China (7.4%)
      • USA (3.1%).
         

      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • Japan (-13.9%)
      • South Korea (-13.2%)
      • Canada (-8.1%).
         

      4.3 Visitor arrivals, NSW - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      China(b)59.97.4
      USA37.43.1
      New Zealand29.11.8
      UK(c)24.9-6.3
      Korea, South14.9-13.2
      Hong Kong8.438.3
      Japan8.3-13.9
      India8.1-6.8
      Canada7.8-8.1
      Germany6.9-6.3

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 NSW travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 680 students (2%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Higher Education sector, with 1,220 more students (8%)
      • Student Other (410 more students or 30%)
      • Postgraduate Research (110 more students or 7%).
         

      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector, with 530 fewer students (-6%)
      • Schools (340 fewer students or -11%)
      • Independent ELICOS (180 fewer students or -12%).
         
      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 Vic. for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 6.2% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were China, New Zealand and the UK
      • China increased 10.7% since the same month previous year
      • The United Kingdom had the largest decrease (-4.3%).


      Of all arrivals to Vic. travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was a:

      • Decrease of 760 students (-3%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to Vic. in January 2020 were:

      • China (53,500 trips)
      • New Zealand (28,700)
      • United Kingdom (18,100).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (40.6%)
      • South Korea (16.9%)
      • New Zealand (11.4%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • United Kingdom (-4.3%)
      • Singapore (-0.5%)
      • Germany (-0.3%).
         

      5.3 Visitor arrivals, Vic. - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      China(b)53.510.7
      New Zealand28.711.4
      UK(c)18.1-4.3
      USA17.55.6
      India10.27.2
      Hong Kong7.540.6
      Japan7.41.1
      Singapore5.5-0.5
      Korea, South5.316.9
      Germany4.7-0.3

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 Vic. travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was a decrease of 760 students (-3%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Postgraduate Research sector, with 350 more students (25%)
      • Independent ELICOS (70 more students or 7%).


      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Schools sector, with 920 fewer students (-17%)
      • Vocational Education and Training (150 fewer students or -3%)
      • Higher Education (100 fewer students or -1%).
         
      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 Qld for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 5.1% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were New Zealand, China and Japan
      • New Zealand increased 2.7% since the same month previous year
      • China had the largest decrease (-5.2%).


      Of all arrivals to Qld travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 990 students (7%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to Qld in January 2020 were:

      • New Zealand (30,300 trips)
      • China (24,000)
      • Japan (14,000).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (66.8%)
      • Taiwan (31.7%)
      • Japan (23.8%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • China (-5.2%)
      • United Kingdom (-3.5%).
         

      6.3 Visitor arrivals, Qld - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      New Zealand30.32.7
      China(b)24.0-5.2
      Japan14.023.8
      UK(c)10.1-3.5
      USA8.92.0
      Korea, South7.022.3
      Taiwan6.331.7
      Hong Kong4.966.8
      Canada3.85.2
      New Caledonia3.623.0

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 Qld travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 990 students (7%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Higher Education sector, with 980 more students (17%)
      • Vocational Education and Training (120 more students or 4%)
      • Postgraduate Research (120 more students or 13%).


      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Schools sector, with 210 fewer students (-6%)
      • Student Other (90 fewer students or -10%).
         
      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 SA for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 8.7% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were China, United Kingdom and New Zealand
      • China increased 0.6% since the same month previous year
      • India had the largest decrease (-19.2%).


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

      • Decrease of 80 students (-2%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to SA in January 2020 were:

      • China (4,700 trips)
      • United Kingdom (3,100)
      • New Zealand (2,300).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (91.2%)
      • Malaysia (41.3%)
      • New Zealand (32.8%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • India (-19.2%)
      • United Kingdom (-14.5%).
         

      7.3 Visitor arrivals, SA - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      China(b)4.70.6
      UK(c)3.1-14.5
      New Zealand2.332.8
      USA1.828.0
      Hong Kong1.491.2
      Germany0.83.9
      Japan0.714.2
      India0.7-19.2
      Malaysia0.741.3
      Singapore0.728.5

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 SA travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was a decrease of 80 students (-2%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector (140 more students or 38%)
      • Higher Education, with 130 more students (5%)
      • Postgraduate Research (20 more students or 11%).


      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Schools sector, with 310 fewer students (-20%)
      • Student Other (70 fewer students or -24%).
         
      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.
         

      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 WA for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 24.5% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were United Kingdom, China and Singapore
      • The United Kingdom increased 13.8% since the same month previous year
      • New Zealand had the largest decrease (-7.8%).


      Of all arrivals to WA travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 240 students (4%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to WA in January 2020 were:

      • United Kingdom (14,400 trips)
      • China (10,400)
      • Singapore (5,300).
         
      1. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
      2. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (162.1%)
      • Japan (107.4%)
      • China (101.2%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • New Zealand (-7.8%)
      • USA (-4.9%).
         

      8.3 Visitor arrivals, WA - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      UK(b)14.413.8
      China(c)10.4101.2
      Singapore5.340.0
      New Zealand4.7-7.8
      Malaysia3.734.1
      Japan3.1107.4
      Hong Kong2.8162.1
      USA2.8-4.9
      Germany2.427.0
      India2.211.4

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
      c. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 WA travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 240 students (4%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Higher Education sector (170 more students or 6%)
      • Independent ELICOS, with 60 more students (24%)
      • Student Other (50 more students or 23%).


      The highest numeric decrease was for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector, with 90 fewer students (-7%).
         
      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.
         

      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 Tas. for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 22.4% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were China, Hong Kong and USA
      • China increased 59.3% since the same month previous year
      • the United Kingdom had the largest decrease (-22.3%).


      Of all arrivals to Tas. travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 110 students (14%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to Tas. in January 2020 were:

      • China (2,100 trips)
      • Hong Kong (1,600)
      • USA (1,100).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Hong Kong (106.9%)
      • China (59.3%)
      • Singapore (36.9%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • United Kingdom (-22.3%)
      • Germany (-13.3%)
      • New Zealand (-10.0).
         

      9.3 Visitor arrivals, Tas. - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      China(b)2.159.3
      Hong Kong1.6106.9
      USA1.134.1
      New Zealand0.9-10.0
      UK(c)0.7-22.3
      Singapore0.436.9
      Germany0.3-13.3
      Taiwan0.321.7
      Japan0.34.9
      Malaysia0.316.9

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 Tas. travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 110 students (14%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector (110 more students or 138%)
      • Schools, with 50 more students (135%).


      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Higher Education sector, with 30 fewer students (-6%)
      • Student Other (20 fewer students or -63%).
         
      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.
         

      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 NT for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Increased 17.2% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were Germany, USA and China
      • Germany increased 125.5% since the same month previous year
      • Japan had the largest decrease (-48.6%).


      Of all arrivals to NT travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 110 students (34%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to NT in January 2020 were:

      • Germany (700 trips)
      • USA (400)
      • China (300)
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Germany (125.5%)
      • Taiwan (54.3%)
      • USA (40.1%).


      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • Japan (-48.6%)
      • China (-27.5%).
         

      10.3 Visitor arrivals, NT - top 10 source countries(a) - annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      Germany0.7125.5
      USA0.440.1
      China(b)0.3-27.5
      New Zealand0.323.2
      Philippines0.23.8
      UK(c)0.2-2.7
      Indonesia0.216.2
      India0.119.3
      Japan0.1-48.6
      Taiwan0.154.3

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 NT travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 110 students (34%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector (80 more students or 77%)
      • Higher Education, with 30 more students (20%)
      • Schools, with 10 more students (20%).
         
      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.
         

      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 unprecedented bushfires in Australia which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019, and the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 ACT for a short-term trip (less than 1 year) in January 2020:

      • Decreased 12.6% since the same month previous year
      • Largest source countries were China, New Zealand and USA
      • China decreased 7.7% since the same month previous year
      • South Korea had the largest decrease (-41.6%).
         

      Of all arrivals to ACT travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 50 students (3%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      Source countries

      The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to ACT in January 2020 were:

      • China (1,600 trips)
      • New Zealand (700)
      • USA (700).
         
      1. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      2. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
         

      Among the top ten source countries, the largest annual increases were recorded for:

      • Vietnam (81.6%)
      • USA (6.1%).

      The largest annual decreases were recorded for:

      • South Korea (-41.6%)
      • India (-36.7%).
         

      11.3 Visitor arrivals, ACT - top 10 source countries(a) -annual change - original estimates

        Jan '19 to Jan '20
      Country of Residence'000% change
      China(b)1.6-7.7
      New Zealand0.7-5.4
      USA0.76.1
      UK(c)0.5-10.0
      India0.3-36.7
      Vietnam0.281.6
      Malaysia0.2-11.3
      Canada0.2-28.4
      Korea, South0.2-41.6
      Germany0.2-22.8

      a. Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
      b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
      c. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

       

      For additional information relating to the bushfires, and COVID-19 and China see the Notes Section.

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 ACT travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 50 students (3%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Student Other sector, with 50 more students (19%)
      • Higher Education (40 more students or 4%)
      • Postgraduate Research (20 more students or 6%).
         

      The highest numeric decrease was for:

      • the Vocational Education and Training sector, with 90 fewer students (-35%).
         
      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.
         

      International student arrivals - Aust. - Jan 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 the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in China in early 2020.

      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 January 2020, there was an:

      • Increase of 1,350 students (1%) compared to the same month in the previous year.
         

      International students

      The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 is expected to disrupt the movement of international students from China, 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 Australia travelling on an international student visa in January 2020, there was an increase of 1,350 students (1%) compared to the same month in the previous year.

      The highest numeric increases were for:

      • the Higher Education sector, with 2,430 more students (5%)
      • Postgraduate Research (600 more students or 12%)
      • Student Other (330 more students or 8%).


      The highest numeric decreases were for:

      • the Schools sector, with 1,660 fewer students (-12%)
      • Vocational Education and Training (400 fewer students or -2%).
         
      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.

      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.
         

      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.

      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

       '0002018 to 20192009 to 2019
      Country of Residence % change% change
      China14390.5296.7
      New Zealand14343.530.4
      USA8183.768.9
      UK(b)716-2.44.6
      Japan4996.240.9
      Singapore4796.894.1
      India39911.6234.4
      Malaysia385-4.088.5
      Hong Kong3152.1118.6
      Korea, South280-2.651.0

      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.

      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.

      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

       NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
       daysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdays
      India304930706156616140
      UK(c)162020212120191719
      China121410301530129012
      USA101111131314161010
      Hong Kong910101199101210
      Malaysia898107108118
      Singapore7889710798
      Korea (South)61091310108117
      New Zealand55771081167
      Japan6761067676
      All countries101210161212151610

      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.
         

      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.
         
      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

       '0002018 to 20192009 to 2019
      Destination Country % change% change
      New Zealand1 4631.943.8
      Indonesia1 4019.4156.4
      USA1 056-3.683.2
      UK(b)6630.041.3
      China6082.4134.9
      Thailand543-5.240.2
      Japan52213.3230.4
      India4268.6200.2
      Singapore4170.483.3
      Fiji3450.935.8

      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%).

      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.

      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

       NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
       daysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdaysdays
      UK(c)242426262331252624
      India222523272219252323
      China171815171516151717
      USA151616171919171616
      Japan141514151515151514
      Thailand111212121113121212
      Indonesia101099711899
      Singapore8889711688
      New Zealand7781012101188
      Fiji787788877
      All countries141514151215121514

      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

      In response to the need for additional data and analysis due to the bushfires and the COVID-19 outbreak, 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.

      Coronavirus (COVID-19) from January 2020

      The ABS has undertaken analysis for January 2020 to examine any change to visitor arrival numbers due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

      The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the coronavirus (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 from mainland China commencing 1 February (i.e. the day after the reference period for this publication). For subsequent updates to travel restrictions, see the News and Media page at the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.

      Overall, visitors arriving in Australia for a short-term trip in January 2020 increased 0.1% since the previous month and by 1.6% since the same month of the previous year (trend estimates). China was the second largest source country for visitors to Australia.

      On a trend basis, the number of visitors from China in January 2020 decreased 5.5% when compared to January 2019. This is despite the Lunar New Year falling in January (25th) 2020 compared to February (5th) in 2019. This is the first decline over the last decade for China, when comparing January to the same month of the previous year.

      Over the last decade, the change in visitor numbers from China has fluctuated when comparing monthly data year to year. Based on the latest trend estimates, there was strong growth in the early part of the decade with a peak of 40.3% in July 2010 (compared to July 2009). There were declines more recently of -0.4% for March and April 2019 and then the decline for January 2020. Analysis of daily data shows a lower number of arrivals from China and Hong Kong towards the end of the month, when compared to the historical patterns of increased arrivals associated with a Lunar New Year.

      Bushfires in January 2020

      The ABS has undertaken analysis for January 2020 to examine any change to visitor arrival numbers due to the Australian bushfires which started in numerous states in the latter part of 2019.

      In January 2020, at the national level, there was an increase (4.8%) in the volume of visitors when compared to the same month of the previous year (original estimates). Over the last decade it has fluctuated from a growth of 17.2% in 2017 to a decline of -3.0% in 2018.

      Although there was a decline recorded for NSW (-0.8%) and the ACT (-12.6%) in January 2020, there was an increase in all other states and territories. In particular, there were large increases recorded for Western Australia (24.5%) and Tasmania (22.4%). Over the last decade, NSW has fluctuated from a growth of 21.6% in 2017 to a decline of -9.3% in 2018. The ACT from 28.0% (2017) to a decline of -24.1% (2011). The decline recorded in NSW and the ACT however, was not observed from all source countries, with many showing an increase in visitors.

      While these changes may be in part due to the bushfires, with some travellers changing their travel plans, it is difficult to ascertain if they have had a direct impact.

      Data notes

      This release contains overseas movement data which should not be interpreted as 'persons'. See methodology note 7 for more detail.

      The statistics in this release have been rounded. See methodology note 35 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 further information about the data, including updates or changes, see the Methodology section of this issue and the related Appendices such as Data Quality Issues.
      2. Short-term arrival movements are based on a sample and are subject to sampling error. See paragraphs 10 and 11 of the Methodology section of this issue.
      3. 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 30-31 of the Methodology section 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