Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia

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Statistics on international travel arriving in and departing from Australia.

Reference period
January 2023
Released
15/03/2023

Key statistics

In January 2023:

  • Arrivals: 1,608,010 – a monthly increase of 347,460 trips. 
  • Departures: 1,376,850 – a monthly decrease of 138,440 trips.  

These statistics report on the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people. Most data in this release are rounded to the nearest 10. As a result, sums of components may not add exactly to totals.

Overseas Migration Statistics

This release presents statistics on all overseas arrivals and departures, which is not the same as overseas migration statistics.

If you are looking for ABS statistics on overseas migration, please refer to:

Arrivals and departures

  1. Provisional data for the most recent month has not had the full quality assurance methods applied as is done for the earlier months. Provisional data will be revised in the next issue of this publication.
  1. Provisional data for the most recent month has not had the full quality assurance methods applied as is done for the earlier months. Provisional data will be revised in the next issue of this publication.

Provisional Estimates

To provide more timely travel data in response to COVID-19, provisional estimates for total overseas arrivals and total overseas departures are included in Graphs 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. Additional provisional data are available under the Data downloads for State of clearance (Table 13), Country of citizenship (Table 14), and Visa group (Table 15). No further breakdowns of provisional data are available, other than those which appear in this release.

  1. Provisional data for the most recent month has not had the full quality assurance methods applied as is done for the earlier months. Provisional estimates will be revised in the next issue of this publication.
1.4 Arrivals and departures by category of travel - monthly change(a)
 Jan-19Jan-22Dec-22Jan-23Monthly change Dec-22 to Jan-23
Category of travel(no.)(no.)(no.)(no.)(no.)
Total Arrivals2,217,890265,2601,260,5501,608,010347,460
    Permanent arrivals(b)7,9908,09011,37011,320-60
    Australian resident returns(c)
        long-term11,43015,00024,63012,470-12,160
        short-term1,392,850151,570529,9801,097,900567,920
    Overseas visitor arrivals(d)
        long-term74,49029,84045,60073,92028,310
        short-term731,13060,760648,970412,410-236,560
Total Departures1,905,430188,2101,515,2901,376,850-138,440
    Australian resident departures(c)
        long-term39,24016,13027,30035,9808,680
        short-term904,210126,1501,029,640719,610-310,040
    Overseas visitor departures(d)
        long-term27,45021,54046,53040,220-6,310
        short-term934,53024,390411,820581,040169,230
  1. Category of travel data is not available from provisional estimates.
  2. Permanent arrivals (settlers) comprise: travellers who hold permanent visas, New Zealand citizens who indicate on their passenger card an intention to migrate permanently, and those who are otherwise identified as eligible to settle.
  3. Australian resident includes Australian citizens, permanent visa holders residing in Australia, and any New Zealand citizens who can be identified as a resident.
  4. An overseas visitor is any traveller arriving to, or departing from, Australia who is not an Australian resident.

NOTE: Long-term are travellers who have been away or in Australia for 12 months or more. Short-term are travellers who have been away or in Australia for less than 12 months.

Visitor arrivals - short-term

Compares international visitor arrivals each month by source country and change at the state and territory level. Analysis in this section is undertaken on short-term trips (less than 1 year).

For visitor arrivals to Australia:

  • A total of 412,410 short-term trips were recorded, an increase of 351,650 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 43.6% lower than the pre-COVID level in January 2019.
  • New Zealand was the largest source country, accounting for 16% of all visitor arrivals.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries where visitors came from were:

  • New Zealand (65,480 trips)
  • The UK (55,070)
  • The USA (49,840).

Details

  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
2.3 Short-term visitor arrivals - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
New Zealand92,6702,33097,63065,480-32,150
UK73,9909,72097,09055,070-42,020
USA67,6404,95066,47049,840-16,640
India24,6607,91035,23019,610-15,620
Korea, South29,7701,45016,19018,3002,110
China(b)142,8503,74013,88014,630760
Germany18,6901,30018,89012,370-6,520
Canada18,7701,71017,87012,170-5,700
Singapore18,2903,21038,40010,980-27,420
Hong Kong17,15090013,49010,630-2,860
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

State or territory of stay

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. For January 2023, the highest number of visitor arrivals for short-term trips was observed for New South Wales (159,130), whilst the Northern Territory recorded the fewest (2,260).

Details

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, State or territory of stay - January 2023

The image is a map of Australia, separated into states. Each state is labelled with the corresponding data for short-term visitor arrivals for January 2023. For statistics for each state, refer to the January 2023 column of Table 2.5.

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, State or territory of stay - January 2023

This map presents the number of short-term visitor arrivals in Australia in January 2023, by their state of intended stay.

- New South Wales (159,130)
- Victoria (109,950)
- Queensland (73,690)
- South Australia (15,650)
- Western Australia (40,400)
- Tasmania (5,920)
- Northern Territory (2,260)
- Australian Capital Territory (5,400).

2.5 Short-term visitor arrivals, State or territory of stay
State or territory of stayJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
NSW282,66026,850242,050159,130-82,920
Vic.205,58021,740170,840109,950-60,890
Qld141,4605,790120,56073,690-46,870
SA22,4802,64023,11015,650-7,460
WA58,9101,13070,61040,400-30,210
Tas.8,54072010,1505,920-4,230
NT3,4204002,5702,260-310
ACT8,0301,4809,0805,400-3,680
Australia(a)731,13060,760648,970412,410-236,560
  1. Includes Other Territories.
     

Visitor arrivals - short-term - state and territory

Compares international visitor arrivals each month by source country for each state and territory. The additional information is being provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyses in this section are undertaken on short-term trips (less than 1 year) unless otherwise stated.

New South Wales

For visitor arrivals to New South Wales:

  • There were 159,130 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 132,280 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 43.7% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for New South Wales were:

  • The USA (26,390 trips)
  • New Zealand (20,710)
  • The UK (20,670).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

3.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, NSW - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
USA36,2902,49034,23026,390-7,840
New Zealand28,55083029,69020,710-8,980
UK26,5204,93035,42020,670-14,750
Korea, South17,12091010,07011,6101,540
India8,7002,68011,0105,860-5,140
China(b)55,7901,5705,1105,850730
Germany7,3606307,9905,030-2,960
Canada8,4808107,1004,810-2,290
Hong Kong6,0604605,1603,920-1,250
Japan9,5903804,8703,300-1,570
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in New South Wales for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 25,570 arrivals, an increase of 12,590 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 12.2% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Victoria

For visitor arrivals to Victoria:

  • There were 109,950 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 88,220 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 46.5% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Victoria were:

  • New Zealand (16,680 trips)
  • The UK (12,900)
  • The USA (12,590).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
4.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Vic. - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
New Zealand25,76073024,50016,680-7,820
UK18,9603,05020,89012,900-7,990
USA16,5801,50014,31012,590-1,720
India9,5103,97015,2808,240-7,040
China(b)48,3601,3105,3105,570260
Singapore5,5001,43011,7103,810-7,900
Vietnam3,1705203,9703,610-360
Hong Kong5,3302404,1103,400-710
Canada4,6105104,0703,140-930
Germany4,6804304,5603,010-1,550
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in Victoria for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 20,970 arrivals, an increase of 10,800 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 5.5% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Queensland

For visitor arrivals to Queensland:

  • There were 73,690 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 67,900 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 47.9% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Queensland were:

  • New Zealand (20,280 trips)
  • The UK (7,560)
  • The USA (5,390).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

 

5.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Qld - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
New Zealand29,47053031,82020,280-11,540
UK10,48079016,4507,560-8,890
USA8,7603808,8305,390-3,440
Korea, South5,7201302,3002,840550
Taiwan4,790601,8902,810920
Japan11,2901405,3602,710-2,650
New Caledonia2,910801,9502,520560
Canada3,5902203,7102,440-1,270
PNG3,0601302,4602,060-400
India3,0005003,5002,050-1,440
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in Queensland for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 10,650 arrivals, an increase of 8,100 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 1.8% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

South Australia

For visitor arrivals to South Australia:

  • There were 15,650 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 13,010 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 30.4% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

 

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for South Australia were:

  • New Zealand (2,600 trips)
  • The UK (2,400)
  • The USA (1,120).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
6.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, SA- Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
New Zealand1,760702,7702,600-160
UK3,6004303,9802,400-1,580
USA1,3702002,2801,120-1,150
India8804101,6801,050-630
Japan65020400650250
Germany77060730600-140
China(b)4,63025055059040
Hong Kong7406051054020
Canada46080720440-290
Vietnam30040470370-110
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in South Australia for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 4,160 arrivals, an increase of 2,080 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 33.8% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Western Australia

For visitor arrivals to Western Australia:

  • There were 40,400 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 39,270 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 31.4% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Western Australia were:

  • The UK (10,210 trips)
  • New Zealand (3,490)
  • Singapore (2,280).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
7.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, WA - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
UK12,66016018,10010,210-7,890
New Zealand5,120705,9903,490-2,500
Singapore3,770807,4202,280-5,140
USA2,890804,0102,080-1,930
India1,930802,7701,580-1,190
Malaysia2,730102,4901,580-910
Germany1,910202,2801,440-840
Ireland1,380302,4701,330-1,140
Philippines1,060301,6001,190-410
Indonesia1,970202,2901,120-1,170
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in Western Australia for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 9,240 arrivals, an increase of 8,870 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 46.2% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Tasmania

For visitor arrivals to Tasmania:

  • There were 5,920 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 5,200 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 30.7% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Tasmania were:

  • The USA (1,060 trips)
  • New Zealand (1,010)
  • The UK (730).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
8.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Tas. - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
USA810709001,060170
New Zealand1,000501,5801,010-570
UK940901,020730-290
Singapore290601,350240-1,110
Germany36020280200-80
France220401801800
India6030290180-110
Hong Kong79010280170-110
Canada32020340170-170
Korea, South140208015070
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in Tasmania for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 690 arrivals, an increase of 340 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 18.5% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Northern Territory

For visitor arrivals to the Northern Territory:

  • There were 2,260 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 1,860 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 34% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for the Northern Territory were:

  • Germany (370 trips)
  • The USA (350)
  • The UK (240).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
9.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, NT - Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
Germany3300130370240
USA28070480350-130
UK2207023024010
New Zealand24020240140-100
India1104040140100
Timor-Leste700190120-70
Philippines21010130110-10
Indonesia14010140110-20
Singapore902010080-20
Nepal302010050-50
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in the Northern Territory for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 620 arrivals, an increase of 400 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 22.9% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Australian Capital Territory

For visitor arrivals to the Australian Capital Territory:

  • There were 5,400 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 3,930 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 32.7% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for the Australian Capital Territory were:

  • The USA (850 trips)
  • New Zealand (560)
  • India (510).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
10.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, ACT- Top 10 source countries(a)
Country of ResidenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
USA6501601,440850-590
New Zealand770401,030560-480
India470200670510-160
China(b)1,7601403903900
UK6102101,010370-640
Canada24030320260-60
Hong Kong100201701700
Korea, South28030210160-50
Philippines16020280120-160
Malaysia20020210120-90
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

For visitors arriving in the Australian Capital Territory for a long-term trip (1 year or more):

  • There were 2,020 arrivals, an increase of 900 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 7.1% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Visitor arrivals - short-term - calendar year 2022

Compares annual international travel arrivals over time by source country, state and territory, age and sex, main reason for journey and median duration of trip. All analysis in this section is done on short-term trips (less than 1 year).

For the most recent analysis by financial year, see the June 2022 issue of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia.

For visitors arriving in Australia in 2022:

  • There were 3,694,380 visitor arrivals, more than 15 times the previous year
  • New Zealand was the largest source country, accounting for 18.9% of visitors
  • The most popular reason for travel was 'visiting friends/relatives' (47.8%)
  • The median duration of stay in Australia was 18 days, down from 30 days in 2021.

Annual visitor arrivals

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a substantial decline in travel movements due to the introduction of international border restrictions in March 2020. These restrictions were progressively lifted from 1 November 2021, and by 21 February 2022 Australian borders were reopened to most travellers. 

There were 3,694,380 visitor arrivals in 2022. This is an increase of over 3.4 million on the previous year, up from 246,240.

11.1 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — 2022
2022'0002021 to 2022 change ('000)
Jan60.7652.78
Feb90.4684.20
Mar170.25161.94
Apr235.46212.85
May231.48195.29
Jun275.30238.53
Jul325.68306.96
Aug348.44342.05
Sep371.85367.42
Oct430.47426.06
Nov505.24484.38
Dec648.97575.68
Annual Total3,694.383,448.14

Visitor arrivals have been increasing steadily since international border restrictions were removed in November 2021, but remain lower than pre-COVID levels. The number of arrivals in January 2022 was 8.3% of the same period in 2019, and by December had increased to 60.2% of the 2019 level. The total number of visitor arrivals in 2022 was 39.0% of the number recorded in 2019. 

Visitor arrivals to Australia have generally been increasing over recent decades, with a continuous increase in the ten-year period ending 2019. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, a substantial decline was observed from February 2020 onwards. Since November 2021, visitor arrivals have been increasing as border restrictions have been progressively lifted.

Peaks were seen during the:

  • Brisbane Expo in 1988
  • Sydney Olympics in 2000
  • Easing of COVID-19 border restrictions from late 2021.

Decreases were observed during the:

  • Asian financial crisis in 1998
  • September 11 attacks in the USA in 2001
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003
  • Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008
  • Global COVID-19 pandemic starting in 2020. 

Countries where visitors came from

The top five source countries for both 2021 and 2022 were New Zealand, the UK, the USA, India and Singapore.

In 2022:

  • Short-term visitor arrivals for all top 5 source countries were higher than the previous year, due to the removal of international travel restrictions
  • New Zealand was the largest source country for visitor arrivals with 697,620 visits
  • Arrivals from the UK were the second highest with 399,210 visits, more than 18 times the previous year.

Ten years ago, in 2012, the top five source countries were New Zealand, China, the UK, the USA and Japan.

  1. Top 5 source countries based on year ending December 2022.

Visitor arrivals have increased significantly since the easing of travel restrictions in November 2021, but visitor numbers from different countries have recovered at varied rates.

When comparing to each top 10 country's 2019 level, India reached 76% of its 2019 arrivals, the highest proportion of the top 10 countries. China had the lowest rate of recovery, reaching just 6% of 2019 volumes.

  1. Top 10 source countries based on year ending December 2022.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
11.6 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — top 10 source countries(a) — 2022
Country of Residence'0002021 to 2022 change ('000)2012 to 2022 change ('000)
New Zealand697.62600.88-495.49
UK399.21377.32-226.77
USA326.04309.30-174.34
India303.34290.38139.08
Singapore295.81279.998.51
Indonesia90.8488.03-51.03
China(b)89.2682.73-538.84
Canada88.0084.73-48.29
Germany85.3682.22-75.37
Malaysia85.2682.91-162.37
All countries3,694.383,448.14-2,472.73
  1. Top 10 source countries based on year ending December 2022.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

State or territory of stay

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. 

The COVID-19 pandemic saw periods where state borders and airports had varying restrictions for international visitors at different times.

The proportion of Australia's short-term visitor arrivals by intended state or territory in 2022 were as follows:

  • NSW (35.5% of all short-term visitors)
  • Vic. (26.4%)
  • Qld (21.0%)
  • SA (3.5%)
  • WA (10.3%)
  • Tas. (1.1%)
  • NT (0.8%)
  • ACT (1.4%). 

Ten years ago, in 2012, Victoria had a smaller proportion of visitor arrivals (22.0%) than Queensland (24.6%) and the Northern Territory had a larger proportion (1.3%) than the Australian Capital Territory (1.1%) and Tasmania (0.7%).

All states and territories recorded an overall increase in international visitors in the years prior to 2020. Steady annual growth was recorded across the country, except for the Northern Territory, which experienced fluctuations in visitor numbers. All states and territories observed a considerable drop in visitor numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the easing of travel restrictions in November 2021, visitor arrivals have increased in all states and territories, but have increased towards pre-COVID levels at different rates. In 2022, visitor arrivals to the Australian Capital Territory reached 49.0% of 2019 movements, the highest of any state or territory. Visitor arrivals to the Northern Territory were the lowest when compared to 2019, with movements in 2022 reaching just 36.4% of 2019 levels.

The mix of source countries at the state and territory level was different to that at the national level. In 2022:

  • New Zealand was the largest source country for visitors to NSW, Vic., Qld and Tas.
  • India was the largest source country for SA
  • Singapore was the largest source country for WA
  • The USA was the largest source country of visitors to the NT and ACT.

Ten years earlier, in 2012, New Zealand was the leading source country for NSW, Vic., Qld, SA, Tas. and ACT. The USA was the leading source country for the NT, and the UK was the leading source country for WA.

Age and sex

There were more visits to Australia by females than males in 2022 (1,804,780 males compared with 1,889,600 females). In 2012, however, there were more male short-term visitor arrivals than female (3,208,190 males and 2,958,920 females).

In 2022 male visitors had a median age of 42 years, whereas female visitors had a median age of 43 years. When broken down into five-year age groups, the largest group of visitor arrivals was those aged between 25 and 29 years. New Zealand was the largest source country for this age group. In 2012, the median age for both male and female visitors was 39.

Main reason for journey

In 2022, the most frequently stated main reasons for journey by short-term visitors to Australia were:

  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (47.8%)
  • 'Holiday' (28.6%)
  • 'Business' (7.2%).
  1. As a percentage of all short-term visitor arrivals.

Female visitors were more likely than males to record their main reason for journey as 'visiting friends/relatives' or 'holiday'. Male visitors were more likely to record 'business' or 'employment' than female visitors.

Since the easing of international travel restrictions from November 2021, the number of visitors to Australia has increased, although these increases varied by reason:

  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' increased by 1,619,670 in 2022, the most of any reason for journey, and was 62% of the 2019 volume. The proportion of visitors listing 'visiting friends/relatives' decreased from its peak of 73% in December 2021 but remained the most common reason in 2022.
  • 'Holiday' increased by 1,034,980, but was just 24% of the 2019 volume, the lowest of any reason for journey. 
  • 'Employment' increased by 127,210 and was 70% of the 2019 volume, the highest of any reason for journey.
11.10 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — main reason for journey and sex — 2022
Males (%)Females (%)
Visiting friends/relatives42.253.2
Holiday27.629.5
Business11.13.5
Education5.45.5
Employment5.32.9
Convention/conference4.12.5
Exhibition0.20.1
Other4.12.8
Total100.0100.0

Duration of stay

Visitors are asked their intended duration in Australia upon arrival.

During 2022, the median duration of stay in Australia was 18 days. This is a decrease compared to 2021, when the median trip duration was 30 days. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the median duration of short-term visitor trips was 10 days, but median travel duration increased following international travel restrictions. Since the easing of travel restrictions from November 2021, the median duration of short-term visitor trips has reduced and was 14 days by November 2022.

The median duration varied between the states and territories and between the numerous source countries.

11.11 Short-term visitor arrivals, state/territory of stay — top 10 source countries(a) — median duration of stay (days) — 2022
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
China(c)122122114122919191163122
India638987918291919186
Germany262630303027303028
UK212224262622302122
Canada202121212621212121
Indonesia151515211615301415
USA121414161715201414
Malaysia141514171215202014
Singapore910101291191010
New Zealand779814101388
All countries162015282118252418
  1. Top 10 source countries have been calculated at the Australia level.
  2. Includes Other Territories.
  3. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

In 2022, among the states and territories the median duration was:

  • Highest in SA at 28 days 
  • Lowest for Qld at 15 days.

Visitors from China recorded a median duration of stay of 122 days, which was the longest of the top 10 countries. This was up from the 91 days recorded during the year before.

Visitors from New Zealand recorded for a comparatively shorter stay with a median duration of 8 days. This was down from the 10 days recorded from the year before.

The median duration of stay of short-term visitors to Australia also varied by their reported reason for journey. Those travelling for:

  • 'Education' (182 days) stayed the longest
  • 'Employment' (152 days)
  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (23 days)
  • 'Holiday' (11 days)
  • 'Exhibition' (9 days)
  • 'Convention/conference' and 'business' stayed the shortest (both 7 days).

Arrivals - international students

Compares international student arrivals each month by visa type.

  • In January 2023 there were 59,240 international student arrivals to Australia, an increase of 31,210 students compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of student arrivals in January 2023 was 34.4% lower than the pre-COVID levels in January 2019.
  1. International student visa holders whether it be for a short-term (less than 1 year) or long-term (1 year or more) duration. This is not the same as when a traveller self reports 'education' as their main reason for journey.
  2. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students.

Resident returns - short-term

Compares international resident returns each month by destination country and change at the state and territory level. Analysis in this section is undertaken on short-term trips (less than 1 year).

For residents returning from overseas:

  • A total of 1,097,900 short-term trips were recorded, an increase of 946,320 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2023 was 21.2% lower than the pre-COVID level in January 2019.
  • New Zealand was the most popular destination country, accounting for 17% of all resident returns.

Destination countries

The three leading destination countries residents returned from were:

  • New Zealand (183,740 trips)
  • Indonesia (116,080)
  • India (103,060).

Details

  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.
13.3 Short-term resident returns - Top 10 destination countries(a)
Country of StayJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
New Zealand197,2801,86091,570183,74092,170
Indonesia126,46064071,520116,08044,560
India90,02017,67036,310103,06066,750
USA124,73020,06041,04074,70033,650
UK80,66016,10027,05067,55040,500
Japan84,95064017,57054,62037,050
Thailand59,4506,06027,89048,75020,860
Fiji35,89020,41032,12042,61010,490
Malaysia37,4301,06012,24036,34024,110
Vietnam42,19025016,39036,05019,670
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2023.

State or territory of residence

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. For January 2023, the highest number of resident returns from short-term trips was observed for New South Wales (390,650), whilst Tasmania recorded the fewest (6,740).

Details

13.4 Short-term resident returns, State or territory of residence - January 2023

The image is a map of Australia, separated into states. Each state is labelled with the corresponding data for short-term resident returns for January 2023. For statistics for each state, refer to the January 2023 column of Table 13.5.

13.4 Short-term resident returns, State or territory of residence - January 2023

This map presents the number of short-term resident returns in Australia in January 2023, by their state of intended residence.

- New South Wales (390,650)
- Victoria (290,260)
- Queensland (200,580)
- South Australia (40,360)
- Western Australia (137,130)
- Tasmania (6,740)
- Northern Territory (8,530)
- Australian Capital Territory (23,390).

13.5 Short-term resident returns, State or territory of residence
State or territory of residenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Dec 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 change
NSW495,22081,680178,160390,650212,490
Vic.363,06049,920144,140290,260146,130
Qld255,88010,660108,460200,58092,120
SA53,6703,14020,85040,36019,510
WA175,7001,05059,550137,13077,580
Tas.8,9006404,0106,7402,730
NT13,1506503,7808,5304,750
ACT27,0203,81010,94023,39012,450
Australia(a)1,392,850151,570529,9801,097,900567,920
  1. Includes Other Territories.
     

Resident returns - short-term - calendar year 2022

Compares annual international travel arrivals over time by source country, state and territory, age and sex, main reason for journey and median duration of trip. All analysis in this section is done on short-term trips (less than 1 year).

For the most recent analysis by financial year, see the June 2022 issue of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia.

For Australian residents returning to Australia in 2022:

  • There were 5,225,640 resident returns from overseas, more than 17 times the previous year
  • New Zealand continued to be the leading destination country for Australians travelling overseas, accounting for 707,990 trips
  • The most popular reason for travel was 'holiday' (47.8%)
  • The median duration of trips away was 16 days, down from 17 days in 2021.

Annual resident returns

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a substantial decline in travel movements due to the introduction of international border restrictions in March 2020. These restrictions were eased progressively from 1 November 2021, resulting in increased travel in 2022.

In 2022, 5,225,640 residents returned from overseas trips. This was an increase of 4.9 million on the previous year, when 300,840 trips were taken.

14.1 Short-term resident returns, Australia — 2022
2022'0002021 to 2022 change ('000)
Jan151.57140.22
Feb116.86108.47
Mar146.34137.08
Apr282.63265.64
May360.61298.25
Jun390.89340.39
Jul671.04629.21
Aug607.95597.64
Sep633.79627.74
Oct721.86716.79
Nov612.12586.20
Dec529.98477.14
Annual Total5,225.644,924.79

The number of resident returns in 2022 remained lower than pre-COVID but increased steadily across the year, and by December had reached 70.7% of the corresponding period in 2019. The total number of residents returning from overseas in 2022 was 46.2% of 2019 volumes. 

The number of Australian residents travelling overseas has largely been increasing over recent decades, with the general trend interrupted by 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
  • Global COVID-19 pandemic starting in 2020.

A substantial decline was observed in late March 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, there were 11,352,800 resident trips overseas in the year ending February 2020. Travel by Australian residents has been increasing over the past year after border restrictions were gradually removed from November 2021.

Destination countries

The top five destination countries in 2022 were New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, the UK and India.

In 2022: 

  • Short-term resident returns for all top 5 destination countries increased due to the removal of international travel restrictions
  • New Zealand was the leading destination country with 707,990 trips
  • Residents returning from Indonesia increased to 612,450, up from 2,370 in 2021, most of whom recorded 'holiday' as their reason for travel (84%)
  • Trips to India increased significantly to 329,220 – it was the only country in the top 10 to exceed movements from 10 years ago (up 52% from 216,720 in 2012).

Ten years ago, in 2012, the top five countries were New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, Thailand and the UK.

  1. Top 5 destination countries based on year ending December 2022.

The number of Australian residents travelling overseas has increased significantly since the easing of travel restrictions in November 2021, but the number of residents visiting different countries has increased at different rates.

Fiji was the highest of the top ten destination countries when compared to 2019, with 2022 trips reaching 92% of 2019 levels. The number of Australians visiting Fiji increased over the year, and by December 2022 had reached 119% of the same period in 2019. Vietnam was the lowest of the top ten destination countries in 2022 when compared to 2019, reaching 42% of 2019 levels.

  1. Top 10 destination countries based on year ending December 2022.
14.6 Short-term resident returns, Australia — top 10 destination countries(a) — 2022
Destination Country'0002021 to 2022 change ('000)2012 to 2022 change ('000)
New Zealand707.99548.27-398.64
Indonesia612.45610.07-302.70
USA462.57445.50-416.17
UK416.26401.57-103.06
India329.22317.49112.50
Fiji318.76310.05-14.85
Thailand241.83238.68-384.16
Singapore226.07219.65-69.28
Vietnam132.07131.39-87.76
Italy126.72125.11-39.06
All countries5,225.644,924.79-2,980.34
  1. Top 10 destination countries based on year ending December 2022.

State or territory of residence

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, state borders and airports had varying rules for residents returning from overseas at different times.

The proportion of residents returning to Australia from a short-term trip by their state or territory of residence in 2022 were as follows:

  • NSW (36.4% of all short-term resident returns)
  • Vic. (29.2%)
  • Qld (16.7%)
  • SA (3.8%)
  • WA (10.4%)
  • Tas. (0.9%)
  • NT (0.7%)
  • ACT (2.0%).

Ten years ago, in 2012, the Northern Territory had a higher proportion of resident returns (1.1%) than Tasmania (1.0%). Victoria’s proportion has increased (up from 24.9% in 2012) and Western Australia’s has decreased (down from 15.1% in 2012).

Most states and territories recorded growth in the number of residents taking overseas trips in the years prior to 2020. Western Australia remained steady from 2014 until the impact of the pandemic, while the Northern Territory fluctuated across the decade. There was a considerable drop for all states and territories from March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The easing of travel restrictions from November 2021 has resulted in an increase of international travel from residents of all states, but travel has increased towards pre-COVID levels at different rates. When compared to 2019, overseas trips were the highest for New South Wales residents, with residents returns in 2022 reaching 50.0% of 2019 levels, and lowest for Northern Territory residents, with 2022 movements reaching only 35.7% of 2019 levels.

The top destination country varied between states:

  • New Zealand was the most popular destination for residents from NSW, Qld and Tas.
  • Indonesia was the top destination for Vic., SA, WA and the NT
  • The USA was the leading destination for ACT residents.

Ten years earlier, in 2012, New Zealand was the leading destination for residents of NSW, Vic, Qld and Tas. Indonesia was the leading destination for residents from SA, WA and the NT and the USA was the leading destination for residents of ACT. 

Age and sex

There were more trips taken overseas by Australian males than females in 2022 (2,727,420 males compared with 2,498,210 females). Ten years earlier, in 2012, there were also more trips taken by males than females (4,309,270 males compared with 3,896,700 females).

In 2022 male residents had a median age of 41 years, whereas female residents had a median age of 39 years. When broken down into five-year age groups, more women than men travelled in the age range of 15 to 29 and there were more men than women in all other age groups under 95 years of age.

Main reason for journey

In 2022, the most frequently stated main reasons for journey by Australian residents returning home after a short-term trip were:

  • 'Holiday' (47.8%)
  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (37.0%)
  • 'Business' (6.9%).
  1. As a percentage of all short-term resident returns.

Female residents returning to Australia were more likely than males to record their main reason for journey as 'visiting friends/relatives' or 'holiday'. Male residents were more likely to record 'business' than female residents.

Since the easing of international travel restrictions from November 2021, the proportion of residents recording 'holiday' as their main reason for journey has increased, while the proportion recording 'visiting friends/relatives' has decreased from its peak of 59% in February 2022. However, 'holiday' remained lower and 'visiting friends/relatives' remained higher than in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

14.10 Short-term resident returns, Australia — main reason for journey and sex — 2022
Main reason for journeyMales (%)Females (%)
Holiday46.349.6
Visiting friends/relatives34.439.8
Business10.03.6
Convention/conference2.91.8
Employment2.51.3
Education0.60.7
Exhibition0.10.1
Other3.23.2
Total100.0100.0

Duration of stay

The exact duration away is measured for Australian residents returning from overseas.

During 2022, the median short-term trip duration for Australians travelling overseas was 16 days. This is a decrease since 2021, when the median trip duration was 17 days.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the median duration of short-term resident trips was 14 days, but median travel duration increased following international travel restrictions. Since the easing of travel restrictions from November 2021, the median duration of short-term resident trips has decreased to 14 days in November 2022.

The median duration varied between the states and territories and between the numerous destination countries.

14.11 Short-term resident returns, state/territory of residence — top 10 destination countries(a) — median duration of stay (days) — 2022
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
India283028302728302829
UK252525262429282425
Italy252724242425252725
Vietnam181918201716181518
USA151717192020211616
Thailand131315151316191314
Indonesia1110101081191010
New Zealand8891014111399
Singapore8989711788
Fiji78781081077
All countries161715171518151716
  1. Top 10 destination countries have been calculated at the Australia level.
  2. Includes Other Territories.

In 2022, among the states and territories the median duration overseas was:

  • Highest for those who lived in Tas. at 18 days
  • Lowest for Qld, WA and NT residents at 15 days.

Residents visiting India stayed away the longest of the top 10 destination countries, with a median duration of 29 days.

Residents travelling to Fiji had a median duration of 7 days, which was shorter than the other top 10 destination countries.

The duration of stay of short-term trips by Australian residents going overseas varied according to reason for journey. Those travelling for:

  • 'Employment' stayed away the longest (30 days)
  • 'Education' (26 days)
  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (24 days)
  • 'Exhibition' or 'Holiday' (12 days)
  • 'Business' or 'convention/conference' stayed the shortest (9 days).

Recent changes

All instances of the country formerly known as Turkey have been updated to Türkiye

From 16/2/2023 all instances of the country formerly known as Turkey have been updated to Türkiye to align with an update to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC).

Data downloads

I-notes

1. Due to improvements made to the quality of the imputations used to estimate duration of stay, OAD data from January to March 2022 has been revised and released in the April 2022 issue.  These imputations use historical data and have been impacted by changed travel behaviour during the COVID-19 travel restrictions period. For further information see Methodology page in the History of changes section for the year 2022.

2. The ABS identified a data quality issue with the source data which affected the state and territory of stay/residence data.  As a result, Overseas Arrivals and Departures data from July 2021 to February 2022 was revised and released in the March 2022 issue. For further information see Methodology page in the History of changes section for the year 2022.

3. 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 Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates section in the Methodology page associated with this release.

4. The quality of the imputation used to estimate duration of stay for some resident departures was impacted by changed travel behaviour during COVID-19 travel restrictions. The proportional split between short-term resident departures and long-term resident departures was impacted from April 2020 to December 2021. Where possible, instead of departure volumes, we recommend clients use short-term resident returns and long-term resident returns for greater accuracy. For more information on how this variable is imputed, please see paragraph 28 of the Imputations and derivations section of the Methodology page.

5. 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 paragraph 14 of the Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates section in the Methodology.

6. For further information about the data, including updates or changes, see the Methodology page.

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data Explorer datasets

Two Overseas Arrivals and Departures datasets are available in Data Explorer.

Caution: Data in Data Explorer is currently released after the 11:30am release on the ABS website. Please check the reference period when using Data Explorer.

For information on Data Explorer and how it works, see the Data Explorer user guide.

Data notes

This release contains overseas movement data which should not be interpreted as 'persons'. See the Scope section, paragraph 1 in the Methodology for more detail.

The statistics in this release have been rounded. See the Confidentiality section in the Methodology for more detail.

Enquiries

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Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3401.0

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