Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia

Latest release

Statistics on international travel arriving in and departing from Australia.

Reference period
January 2024
Released
14/03/2024
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    Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, February 2024
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    Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, March 2024
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    Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, April 2024
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Key statistics

In January 2024:

  • Short-term visitor arrivals: 603,770 – an annual increase of 191,360 trips
  • Short-term resident returns: 1,392,890 – an annual increase of 294,990 trips
  • Total arrivals: 2,122,070 – an annual increase of 514,060
  • Total departures: 1,745,840 – an annual increase of 368,990

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.
  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 - annual change(a)
Category of travelJan 2019
(no.)
Jan 2022
(no.)
Jan 2023
(no.)
Jan 2024
(no.)
Jan 2023 to
Jan 2024 change (%)
Total arrivals2,217,890265,2601,608,0102,122,07032.0
    Permanent arrivals(b)7,9908,09011,32015,54037.3
    Australian resident returns(c) 
        long-term11,43015,00012,47011,790-5.5
        short-term1,392,850151,5701,097,9001,392,89026.9
    Overseas visitor arrivals(d) 
        long-term74,49029,84073,92098,08032.7
        short-term731,13060,760412,410603,77046.4
Total departures1,905,430188,2101,376,8501,745,84026.8
    Australian resident departures(c) 
        long-term39,24016,13035,98036,0000.0
        short-term904,210126,150719,610881,07022.4
    Overseas visitor departures(d) 
        long-term27,45021,54040,22034,080-15.3
        short-term934,53024,390581,040794,70036.8
  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 603,770 short-term trips were recorded, an increase of 191,360 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 17.4% 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 (94,410 trips)
  • China (71,170)
  • The USA (63,980).

Details

  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

State or territory of stay

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. For January 2024, the highest number of visitor arrivals for short-term trips was observed for New South Wales (240,650), whilst the Northern Territory recorded the fewest (2,510).

2.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - January 2024

Loading map...

This map presents the number of short-term visitor arrivals in Australia in January 2024, by their state of intended stay.

- New South Wales (240,650)
- Victoria (169,910)
- Queensland (105,180)
- South Australia (20,680)
- Western Australia (50,300)
- Tasmania (7,020)
- Northern Territory (2,510)
- Australian Capital Territory (7,500).

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay
State or territory of stayJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Jan 2024 (no.)Jan 2023 to Jan 2024 change (%)
NSW282,66026,850159,130240,65051.2
Vic.205,58021,740109,950169,91054.5
Qld141,4605,79073,690105,18042.7
SA22,4802,64015,65020,68032.1
WA58,9101,13040,40050,30024.5
Tas.8,5407205,9207,02018.7
NT3,4204002,2602,51011.0
ACT8,0301,4805,4007,50038.8
Australia(a)731,13060,760412,410603,77046.4
  1. Includes Other Territories.

Visitor arrivals - state and territory

Compares international visitor arrivals each month by source country for each state and territory. 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 240,650 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 81,520 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 14.9% 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 (34,730 trips)
  • China (30,540)
  • New Zealand (29,530).
     
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  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 34,310 arrivals, an increase of 8,740 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 17.8% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Victoria

For visitor arrivals to Victoria:

  • There were 169,910 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 59,950 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 17.4% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Victoria were:

  • New Zealand (25,960 trips)
  • China (24,170)
  • The UK (16,060).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  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 28,530 arrivals, an increase of 7,550 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 28.5% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Queensland

For visitor arrivals to Queensland:

  • There were 105,180 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 31,490 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 25.6% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Queensland were:

  • New Zealand (29,290 trips)
  • China (8,690)
  • The USA (7,760).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

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

  • There were 14,120 arrivals, an increase of 3,480 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 35% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

South Australia

For visitor arrivals to South Australia:

  • There were 20,680 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 5,030 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 8% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for South Australia were:

  • China (2,860 trips)
  • The UK (2,580)
  • New Zealand (2,370).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  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 5,580 arrivals, an increase of 1,430 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 79.7% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Western Australia

For visitor arrivals to Western Australia:

  • There were 50,300 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 9,900 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 14.6% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Western Australia were:

  • The UK (10,010 trips)
  • New Zealand (5,050)
  • China (3,040).

a. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
b. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

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

  • There were 11,550 arrivals, an increase of 2,310 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 82.8% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Tasmania

For visitor arrivals to Tasmania:

  • There were 7,020 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 1,110 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 17.8% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for Tasmania were:

  • The USA (1,020 trips)
  • New Zealand (970)
  • The UK (950).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

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

  • There were 800 arrivals, an increase of 110 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 36.8% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.
     

Northern Territory

For visitor arrivals to the Northern Territory:

  • There were 2,510 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 250 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 26.7% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.
     

Countries where visitors came from

The three leading source countries for the Northern Territory were:

  • The USA (410 trips)
  • New Zealand (220)
  • Germany (200).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

Long-term visitor arrivals

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

  • There were 790 arrivals, an increase of 160 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 2.6% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Australian Capital Territory

For visitor arrivals to the Australian Capital Territory:

  • There were 7,500 short-term visitor arrivals, an increase of 2,090 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 6.7% lower than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Countries where visitors came from

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

  • China (1,320 trips)
  • The USA (1,060)
  • New Zealand (1,010).
  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  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 2,400 arrivals, an increase of 380 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was 27% higher than pre-COVID levels in January 2019.

Visitor arrivals - short-term - calendar year 2023

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 2023 issue of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia.

For visitors arriving in Australia in 2023:

  • There were 7,187,430 visitor arrivals, nearly double the previous year
  • New Zealand was the largest source country, accounting for 18% of visitors
  • The most popular reason for travel was 'holiday' (40%)
  • The median duration of stay in Australia was 14 days, down from 18 days in 2022.

Annual visitor arrivals

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a substantial decline in travel movements due to international border restrictions from 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 7,187,430 visitor arrivals in 2023. This is an increase of nearly double on the previous year, up from 3,694,380.

Visitor arrivals have increased since international border restrictions were removed in November 2021, but remain lower than pre-COVID levels back in 2019. The number of arrivals in December 2022 was 60% of the same period in 2019, and by December 2023 had increased to 81% of the 2019 level. The total number of visitor arrivals in 2023 was 76% 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 were 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 2023 were New Zealand, the USA, the UK, China and India.

In 2023:

  • Short-term visitor arrivals for all top 5 source countries were higher than the previous year
  • New Zealand remained the largest source country for visitor arrivals with 1,272,140 visits
  • Arrivals from the USA were the second highest with 659,750 visits

Ten years ago, in 2013, the top five source countries were New Zealand, China, the UK, the USA and Singapore.

  1. Top 5 source countries based on year ending December 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

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.

South Korea was the only one of the top 10 source countries in 2023 to exceed pre-COVID levels, reaching 103% of 2019 arrivals. China had the lowest rate of recovery, reaching 37% of 2019 arrivals.

  1. Top 10 source countries based on year ending December 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.
11.6 Short-term visitor arrivals, Australia — top 10 source countries(a) — selected years ('000)
Country of residence2013201920222023
New Zealand1,201.251,433.78697.621,272.14
USA516.24817.98326.04659.75
UK668.21715.83399.21596.87
China(b)720.751,438.6789.26535.80
India176.85399.30303.34395.56
Singapore333.15478.51295.81364.01
Japan330.80498.6479.38297.71
Korea, South198.87280.4972.50288.02
Indonesia146.78221.7390.84201.50
Hong Kong182.99315.1453.72183.70
All countries6,481.709,465.893,694.387,187.43
  1. Top 10 source countries based on year ending December 2023.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

State or territory of stay

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

11.7 Short-term visitor arrivals, state/territory of stay — 2023

The image is a map of Australia, separated into states. Each state is labelled with the corresponding proportion of short-term visitor arrivals for 2023. For statistics for each state, refer to graph 11.8.

This map presents the proportion of short-term visitor arrivals in Australia in 2023, by their intended state or territory of stay:

  • NSW (38.4% of all short-term visitors)
  • Vic. (25.6%)
  • Qld (20.4%)
  • SA (3.1%)
  • WA (9.5%)
  • Tas. (1.0%)
  • NT (0.6%)
  • ACT (1.3%). 

Ten years ago, in 2013, Victoria had a smaller proportion of visitor arrivals (22.3%) than Queensland (23.5%) and the Northern Territory had a larger proportion (1.2%) than the Australian Capital Territory (1.0%) and Tasmania (0.7%).

All states and territories expect the Northern Territory recorded an overall increase in international visitors in the years prior to 2020. While most states recorded steady annual growth, the Northern Territory and South Australia 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 2023, visitor arrivals to ACT reached 86% of 2019 movements, the highest of any state or territory. Visitor arrivals to the Northern Territory were the lowest, with movements in 2023 reaching 60% of 2019 levels.

The mix of source countries at the state and territory level was different to that at the national level. In 2023:

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

Ten years earlier, in 2013, it was similar, the only difference was that the UK was the leading source country for visitors to SA, and New Zealand was the leading source country for visitors to ACT.

Age and sex

There were more visits to Australia by females than males in 2023 (3,456,860 males compared with 3,730,570 females). In 2013, however, there were more male short-term visitor arrivals than female (3,317,100 males and 3,164,600 females).

In 2023, the median age for male visitors was 41 years, while the median age for female visitors was 42 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, and ‘holiday’ was the most frequently stated reason for journey (42%). In 2013, the median age for male visitors was 40, and the median age for female visitors was 39.

Main reason for journey

Visitors are asked the main reason for their journey upon arrival in Australia.

In 2023, the most frequently stated reasons were:

  • ‘Holiday’ (40%)
  • ‘Visiting friends/relatives’ (37%)
  • ‘Business’ (6.2%).
  1. As a percentage of all short-term visitor arrivals.

In the pre-COVID period, ‘holiday’ was the most frequently reported reason for journey for visitor arrivals (47% in 2019), but international travel restrictions due to COVID-19 caused a change in travel behaviour. Since the easing of these restrictions, the number of visitors to Australia has increased for all reasons, and ‘holiday’ has returned to the most common (40% in 2023).

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

  1. Visiting friends/relatives

Duration of stay

Visitors are asked their intended duration in Australia upon arrival.

During 2023, the median duration of stay in Australia was 14 days. This is a decrease compared to 2022, when the median trip duration was 18 days. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the median duration of short-term visitor trips was 10 days, but median duration of stay increased during the pandemic.

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

11.13 Short-term visitor arrivals, state/territory of stay — top 10 source countries(a) — median duration of stay (days) — 2023
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
India406161886287916161
China(c)253030613037619130
UK202121212122222121
Indonesia141314161213301114
USA101213141415181211
Hong Kong111213151210131512
Singapore9910108118119
New Zealand668812101477
Korea, South710111113107107
Japan78611998107
All countries121412201615212014
  1. Top 10 source countries have been calculated at the Australia level.
  2. Includes Other Territories.
  3. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

In 2023 the median duration by state or territory was:

  • Highest in NT at 21 days 
  • Lowest for NSW and Qld at 12 days.

Visitors from India recorded a median duration of stay of 61 days, which was the longest of the top 10 countries. This was down from 86 days the year before.

Visitors from Japan recorded for a comparatively shorter stay, with a median duration of 7 days. This was down from 10 days 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’ stayed the longest (152 days)
  • ‘Employment’ (147 days)
  • ‘Visiting friends/relatives’ (20 days)
  • ‘Holiday’ (10 days)
  • ‘Convention/conference’ and ‘business’ stayed the shortest (7 days).

Arrivals - international students

Compares international student arrivals each month by visa type.

  • In January 2024 there were 82,890 international student arrivals to Australia, an increase of 23,660 students compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of student arrivals in January 2024 was 8.1% 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 1,392,890 short-term trips were recorded, an increase of 294,990 compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • The number of trips for January 2024 was at the pre-COVID level in January 2019.
  • New Zealand was the most popular destination country, accounting for 13% of all resident returns.

 

Destination countries

The three leading destination countries residents returned from were:

  • New Zealand (177,090 trips)
  • Indonesia (156,130)
  • India (112,360).

Details

  1. Top 10 source countries based on month ending January 2024.
  2. Excludes SARs and Taiwan.

State or territory of residence

All travellers are asked their intended address in Australia upon arrival. For January 2024, the highest number of resident returns from short-term trips was observed for New South Wales (497,840), whilst Tasmania recorded the fewest (8,660).

13.3 Short-term resident returns, state or territory of residence - January 2024

Loading map...

Description:
This map presents the number of short-term resident returns in Australia in January 2024, by their state of intended residence.

- New South Wales (497,840)
- Victoria (383,940)
- Queensland (239,320)
- South Australia (53,790)
- Western Australia (171,470)
- Tasmania (8,660)
- Northern Territory (9,110)
- Australian Capital Territory (28,340).

13.4 Short-term resident returns, state or territory of residence
State or territory of residenceJan 2019 (no.)Jan 2022 (no.)Jan 2023 (no.)Jan 2024 (no.)Jan 2023 to Jan 2024 change (%)
NSW495,22081,680390,650497,84027.4
Vic.363,06049,920290,260383,94032.3
Qld255,88010,660200,580239,32019.3
SA53,6703,14040,36053,79033.3
WA175,7001,050137,130171,47025.0
Tas.8,9006406,7408,66028.4
NT13,1506508,5309,1106.8
ACT27,0203,81023,39028,34021.2
Australia(a)1,392,850151,5701,097,9001,392,89026.9
  1. Includes Other Territories.

Resident returns - short-term - calendar year 2023

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 2023 issue of Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia.

For Australian residents returning to Australia in 2023:

  • There were 9,975,230 resident returns from overseas, an increase of over 4.7 million on the previous year
  • Indonesia was the leading destination country for Australians travelling overseas, accounting for 1,368,050 trips
  • The most popular reason for travel was 'holiday' (57%)
  • The median trip duration was 15 days.

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 and 2023.

9,975,230 residents returned from overseas trips in 2023. This was an increase of over 4.7 million on the previous year, when 5,225,640 trips were taken.

The number of resident returns in 2023 remained lower than pre-COVID but increased across the year, and by December 2023 had reached 99% of the corresponding period in 2019. The total number of residents returning from overseas in 2023 was 88% of 2019 (pre-COVID) 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. Travel by Australian residents has been increasing over the past two years after border restrictions were gradually removed from November 2021.

Destination countries

The top five destination countries in 2023 were Indonesia, New Zealand, the USA, the UK and Japan.

In 2023: 

  • Short-term resident returns for all top 5 destination countries continued to increase after the removal of international travel restrictions 
  • Indonesia was the leading destination country with 1,368,050 trips, most of whom recorded 'holiday' as their reason for travel (86%)
  • Residents returning from New Zealand increased to 1,263,540, up from 707,990 in 2022
  • The USA was the only country in the top 5 where travel volumes remained lower than 10 years ago (667,080 trips, down from 972,020 in 2013).

Ten years ago, in 2013, the top five countries were New Zealand, the USA, Indonesia, Thailand and the UK.

  1. Top 5 destination countries based on year ending December 2023.

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 various countries has increased at different rates.

India was the highest of the top ten destination countries when compared to pre-COVID levels, with trips taken in 2023 exceeding the 2019 level by 15%. The number of Australians visiting Fiji also exceeded the 2019 level by 12%. The USA had the lowest rate of recovery of the top 10 countries, reaching 63% of the 2019 volume.

  1. Top 10 destination countries based on year ending December 2023.
14.6 Short-term resident returns, Australia — top 10 destination countries(a) — selected years ('000)
Country of stay2013201920222023
Indonesia950.731,400.73612.451,368.05
New Zealand1,161.531,462.81707.991,263.54
USA972.021,055.59462.57667.08
UK563.16663.43416.26604.98
Japan195.65522.1565.77509.10
Thailand626.62542.92241.83500.89
India239.65426.11329.22488.98
Fiji339.68345.02318.76387.48
Vietnam227.71317.10132.07332.65
Singapore340.44416.72226.07326.22
All countries8,709.6011,308.915,225.649,975.23
  1. Top 10 destination countries based on year ending December 2023.

State or territory of residence

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

14.7 Short-term resident returns, state/territory of residence — 2023

The image is a map of Australia, separated into states. Each state is labelled with the corresponding proportion of short-term resident returns for 2022-23. For statistics for each state, refer to graph 14.8.

This map presents the proportion of short-term resident returns in Australia in 2022-23, by their intended state or territory of residence:

  • NSW (33.5% of all short-term resident returns)
  • Vic. (28.0%)
  • Qld (17.9%)
  • SA (4.4%)
  • WA (12.6%)
  • Tas. (1.0%)
  • NT (0.6%)
  • ACT (1.9%). 

Ten years ago, in 2013, the Northern Territory had a higher proportion of resident returns (1.2%) than Tasmania (1.0%). Victoria’s proportion has increased (up from 24.8%) and Western Australia’s has decreased (down from 15.3%).

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 Victorian residents, with resident returns in 2023 reaching 90% of 2019 levels, and lowest for Northern Territory residents, with 2023 movements reaching 66% of 2019 levels.

The top destination country varied between states and territories:

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

Ten years earlier, in 2013, the difference was that New Zealand was the leading destination for residents of Vic., and the USA was the top country for those living in NSW, SA, and the ACT.

Age and sex

There were more trips taken overseas by Australian males than females in 2023 (5,092,650 males compared with 4,882,580 females). Ten years earlier, in 2013, there were also more trips taken by males than females (4,586,090 males compared with 4,123,510 females).

In 2023, male residents returning to Australia had a median age of 42 years, whereas female residents had a median age of 41 years. When broken down into five-year age groups, more women than men travelled in the age range of 15 to 34 and there were more men than women in all other age groups under 90 years of age.

Main reason for journey

Australian residents returning from overseas are asked to provide the main reason for their journey.

In 2023, the most frequently stated reasons were:

  • 'Holiday' (57%)
  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (29%)
  • 'Business' (6%).
  1. As a percentage of all short-term resident returns.

Prior to COVID, ‘holiday’ was the most frequently reported reason for residents returning from overseas trips (57% in 2019). However, due to the impact of the pandemic and travel restrictions, the proportion recording ‘visiting friends and relatives’ became the most frequent reason during that period and reached a peak of 59% in February 2022. In 2023, ‘holiday’ has returned as the most common reason for journey (57%) and surpassed ‘visiting friends/relatives’ (29%).

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

  1. Visiting friends/relatives

Duration of stay

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

During 2023, the median short-term trip duration for Australians travelling overseas was 15 days. This was less than in 2022, when the median trip duration was 16 days.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the median duration of short-term resident trips was 14 days, but median duration of stay increased during the pandemic.

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

14.13 Short-term resident returns, state/territory of residence — top 10 destination countries(a) — median duration of stay (days) — 2023
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust.(b)
India273028322930282929
UK262727282632302627
Vietnam171817191617192017
USA161718182020221717
Japan151615161615171515
Thailand131314131215191313
Indonesia10101098119109
New Zealand7891114111599
Singapore8999810888
Fiji7878108977
All countries151615161417151615
  1. Top 10 destination countries have been calculated at the Australia level.
  2. Includes Other Territories.

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 the shortest of the 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 (24 days)
  • 'Visiting friends/relatives' (23 days)
  • 'Education' (21 days)
  • 'Holiday' (14 days)
  • 'Convention/conference' (9 days)
  • 'Business' stayed the shortest (8 days).

Data downloads

Notes

1. Additional provisional data is 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.

2. The ABS identified a data quality issue with OAD processing which affected the state of clearance and visa grouping data. As a result, Overseas Arrivals and Departures data from September 2007 to August 2015 was revised and released in the March 2023 publication.  A further revision to data from July 2007 to June 2017 was released in the April 2023 publication. For further information see Methodology page, in the History of changes section for the year 2007. 

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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

For enquiries about these and related statistics, contact the Customer Assistance Service via the ABS website Contact Us page. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to the ABS.

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3401.0.

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:

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