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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
May 2020
Released
13/07/2020

Key statistics

  • Overseas visitor arrivals increased 53.1% since the previous month.
  • Australian resident returns decreased 21.5% since the previous month.
  • Overseas visitor arrivals decreased 99.5% since the same month the previous year.
  • Australian resident returns decreased 98.5% since the same month the previous year.

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

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

May 2020 original estimates for short-term trips:

  • Overseas visitor arrivals to Australia increased 53.1% since the previous month to 3,400 trips
  • Australian resident returns from overseas decreased 21.5% since the previous month to 13,400 trips.
     
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1.3 Monthly change

 Apr '20May '20Apr '20 to May '20
% change
Visitor arrivals — short-term trips   
 Trend
na
na
na
 Seasonally adjusted
na
na
na
 Original
2 200
3 400
53.1
Resident returns — short-term trips   
 Trend
na
na
na
 Seasonally adjusted
na
na
na
 Original
17 000
13 400
-21.5
na not available - see the end of the Data Quality Issues Appendix.
 

Visitor arrivals monthly

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

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

Key statistics

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

  • Decreased 99.5% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • Reported a total of 3,440 trips
  • With New Zealand as the largest source country, accounting for 35% of all visitor arrivals.
     
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Source countries (original estimates)

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

  • New Zealand (1,190 trips)
  • UK (340)
  • USA (320).
     
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a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
 

There were decreases of over 97% recorded for each of the top ten source countries when compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

2.3 Short-term visitor arrivals - top 10 source countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

Country of ResidenceOriginalMay '19 to May '20
% change - original
New Zealand
1 190
-99.0
UK(a)
340
-98.9
USA
320
-99.4
India
110
-99.7
Singapore
100
-99.8
China(b)
100
-99.9
Hong Kong
80
-99.6
Philippines
70
-99.6
Japan
70
-99.8
United Arab Emirates
60
-97.8
a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.

 

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 May 2020, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, there were decreases of over 99% across all states and territories.

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - May 2020 - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

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

2.4 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay - May 2020 - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

Map shows negative growth in visitor arrivals by state or territory in May 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year. Tasmania saw a decrease of -99.5%, Queensland saw a decrease of -99.6%, Western Australia saw a decrease of -99.4%, South Australia saw a decrease of -99.4%, the Australian Capital Territory saw a decrease of -99.0%, Victoria saw a decrease of -99.6%. New South Wales saw a decrease of -99.4% and the Northern Territory saw a decrease of -99.0%

2.5 Short-term visitor arrivals, state or territory of stay(a) - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

State or territory of stayMay '19May '20May '19 to May '20
% change - original
NSW
251 990
1 420
-99.4
Vic.
176 510
770
-99.6
Qld
144 290
640
-99.6
SA
17 540
100
-99.4
WA
61 100
370
-99.4
Tas.
4 640
30
-99.5
NT
6 060
60
-99.0
ACT
6 140
60
-99.0
Australia(b)
668 280
3 440
-99.5
a. Only available from original estimates.
b. Includes Other Territories.
 

Resident returns monthly

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

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

Key statistics

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

  • Decreased 98.5% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • Reported a total of 13,380 trips
  • With India as the most popular destination country, accounting for 20% of all those returning.
     
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Destination countries (original estimates)

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

  • India (2,680 trips)
  • New Zealand (1,380)
  • USA (1,080).
     
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a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
 

Among the top ten destination countries, there were no increases recorded when compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The highest decreases were for:

  • Thailand (-99.3%)
  • USA (-98.9%)
  • Singapore (-98.8%)
     

3.3 Short-term resident returns - top 10 destination countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

Country of stayOriginalMay '19 to May '20
% change - original
India
2 680
-90.6
New Zealand
1 380
-98.5
USA
1 080
-98.9
UK(a)
1 050
-97.8
China(b)
820
-98.6
Pakistan
660
-76.2
Philippines
330
-98.6
Singapore
320
-98.8
Thailand
310
-99.3
Nepal
250
-92.9
a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
b. 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 May 2020, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, there were decreases of over 98% across all states and territories.

3.4 Resident returns, state or territory of stay - May 2020 - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

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

3.4 Resident returns, state or territory of stay - May 2020 - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

Map shows negative growth in Australian residents who returned to their home state or territory in May 2020, compared to the same month of the previous year. Western Australia saw a decrease of -98.8%, the Australian Capital Territory saw a decrease of -98.5%, Tasmania saw a decrease of -99.1%, Queensland saw a decrease of -98.5%, Victoria saw a decrease of -98.4%, New South Wales saw a decrease of -98.3%, South Australia saw a decrease of -98.7% and the Northern Territory saw a decrease of -98.5%.

3.5 Short-term resident returns, state or territory of residence(a) - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

State or territory of residenceMay '19May '20May '19 to May '20
% change - original
NSW
297 130
4 990
-98.3
Vic.
228 810
3 630
-98.4
Qld
159 790
2 470
-98.5
SA
42 570
550
-98.7
WA
104 320
1 290
-98.8
Tas.
10 440
100
-99.1
NT
6 970
110
-98.5
ACT
16 170
250
-98.5
Australia(b)
866 280
13 380
-98.5
a. Only available from original estimates.
b. Includes Other Territories.
 

Visitor arrivals by state or territory

New South Wales

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

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

Key statistics

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

  • Decreased 99.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • There were 1,420 short-term visitor arrivals
  • Largest source countries were New Zealand, USA and UK.
     

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

  • Decrease of 14,640 students (close to 100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
     
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Visitors arriving in New South Wales for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in May 2020:

  • Decreased 99.5% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
  • There were nearly 70 long-term visitor arrivals.
     

Source countries

    The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to New South Wales in May 2020 were:

    • New Zealand (580 trips)
    • USA (150)
    • UK (110).
       
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    a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
     

    There were decreases of over 97% recorded for each of the top ten source countries when compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

    4.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, NSW - top 10 source countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

    Country of ResidenceMay '20May '19 to May '20
    % change
    New Zealand
    580
    -98.4
    USA
    150
    -99.5
    UK(a)
    110
    -99.0
    Singapore
    60
    -99.5
    Hong Kong
    40
    -99.6
    China(b)
    40
    -99.9
    New Caledonia
    30
    -98.2
    India
    30
    -99.8
    Philippines
    30
    -99.6
    South Africa
    20
    -97.7
    a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
     


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

    International students

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

    Of all arrivals to New South Wales travelling on an international student visa in May 2020, there were just over 10 students, which was a decrease of 14,640 students compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 4.4 below.

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

    Victoria

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

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

    Key statistics

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

    • Decreased 99.6% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
    • There were 770 short-term visitor arrivals
    • Largest source countries were New Zealand, UK and USA.
       

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

    • Decrease of 9,630 students (close to 100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
       
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    Visitors arriving in Victoria for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in May 2020:

    • Decreased 99.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
    • There were just over 60 long-term visitor arrivals.
       

    Source countries

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

    • New Zealand (280 trips)
    • UK (70)
    • USA (60).
       
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    a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
     

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

    5.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Vic. - top 10 source countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

    Country of ResidenceMay '20May '19 to May '20
    % change
    New Zealand
    280
    -99.0
    UK(a)
    70
    -98.7
    USA
    60
    -99.5
    India
    40
    -99.7
    China(b)
    30
    -99.9
    Singapore
    30
    -99.8
    Unit Arab Emir
    20
    -96.7
    Thailand
    20
    -99.3
    Hong Kong
    20
    -99.7
    Pakistan
    20
    -97.0
    a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
    b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
     


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

    International students

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

    Of all arrivals to Victoria travelling on an international student visa in May 2020, there were just over 10 students, which was a decrease of 9,630 students compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 5.4 below.

    Download

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

    Queensland

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

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

    Key statistics

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

    • Decreased 99.6% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
    • There were 640 short-term visitor arrivals
    • Largest source countries were New Zealand, USA and UK.
       

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

    • Decrease of 5,980 students (100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
       
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    Visitors arriving in Queensland for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in May 2020:

    • Decreased 98.9% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
    • There were just over 50 long-term visitor arrivals.
       

    Source countries

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

      • New Zealand (230 trips)
      • USA (70)
      • UK (50).
         
      Download

      a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       

      There were decreases of over 97% recorded for each of the top ten source countries when compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

      6.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, Qld - top 10 source countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

      Country of ResidenceMay '20May '19 to May '20
      % change
      New Zealand
      230
      -99.5
      USA
      70
      -99.3
      UK(a)
      50
      -99.2
      PNG
      40
      -98.6
      Hong Kong
      20
      -99.3
      India
      20
      -99.7
      Taiwan
      10
      -99.8
      Unit Arab Emir
      10
      -97.3
      Philippines
      10
      -99.4
      South Africa
      10
      -98.7
      a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       


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

      International students

      In May 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to Queensland on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 5,980 students (100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

      South Australia

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

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

      Key statistics

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

      • Decreased 99.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were 100 short-term visitor arrivals.
         
      Download


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

      • Decreased 99.3% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were nearly 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      International students

      In May 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to South Australia on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 1,310 students (nearly 100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

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

      Western Australia

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

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

      Key statistics

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

      • Decreased 99.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were 370 short-term visitor arrivals
      • Largest source countries were UK, New Zealand and USA.
         

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

      • Decrease of 1,710 students (100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
         
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      Visitors arriving in Western Australia for a long-term trip (1 year or more) in May 2020:

      • Decreased 99.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were nearly 20 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      Source countries

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

      • UK (70 trips)
      • New Zealand (60)
      • USA (20).
         
      Download

      a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.


      Among the top ten source countries, the only country to record an increase compared to the corresponding month of the previous year was:

      • Croatia (21.3%). However, this was due to very small numbers being recorded.
         

      There were decreases of over 78% recorded for each of the other top ten source countries when compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

      8.3 Short-term visitor arrivals, WA - top 10 source countries - change - corresponding month previous year (original estimates)

      Country of ResidenceMay '20May '19 to May '20
      % change
      UK(a)
      70
      -98.4
      New Zealand
      60
      -98.8
      USA
      20
      -99.1
      Denmark
      20
      -84.9
      Poland
      20
      -78.9
      Singapore
      10
      -99.9
      Croatia
      10
      21.3
      Canada
      10
      -98.3
      Norway
      10
      -93.5
      India
      10
      -99.7
      a. Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
       


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

      International students

      In May 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to Western Australia on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 1,710 students (100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

      Tasmania

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

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

      Key statistics

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

      • Decreased 99.5% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were 25 short-term visitor arrivals.
         
      Download


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

      • Decreased 99.2% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
      • There were fewer than 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
         

      International students

        In May 2020 there were just over 10 arrivals travelling to Tasmania on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 350 students (97%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

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

        Northern Territory

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

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

        Key statistics

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

        • Decreased 99.0% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
        • There were just over 60 short-term visitor arrivals.
           
        Download


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

        • Decreased 98.0% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
        • There were nearly 10 long-term visitor arrivals.
           

        International students

          In May 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to the Northern Territory on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 110 students (99.1%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

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

          Australian Capital Territory

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

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

          Key statistics

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

          • Decreased 99.0% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
          • There were just over 60 short-term visitor arrivals.
             
          Download


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

          • Decreased 97.4% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
          • There were nearly 20 long-term visitor arrivals.
             

          International students

            In May 2020 there were no arrivals travelling to the Australian Capital Territory on an international student visa, which corresponded to a decrease of 480 students (100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

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

            International student arrivals - Australia - May 2020

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

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

            Key statistics

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

            • Decrease of 34,220 students (close to 100%) compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
               

            International students

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

            Of all arrivals to Australia travelling on an international student visa in May 2020, there were just over 40, which was a decrease of 34,220 students, compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. This was close to a 100% decrease, as clearly seen in graph 12.1 below.

            Download

            a. Includes short-term (less than 1 year) and long-term (1 year or more) visitor arrivals.
            b. Anyone travelling on an international student visa whether it be for a short-term or long-term movement. This is not the same as when a traveller self reports 'education' as their main reason for journey, as shown in Table 6 for short-term visitor arrivals in the Data downloads section.
            c. 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.
                 
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              Source countries

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

              Download

              a. Top 5 source countries based on year ending December 2019.
              b. Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
              c. Includes United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
               

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

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

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

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

              During 2019:

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

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

              Age and sex

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

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

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              Main reason for journey

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

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

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

              Duration of stay

              Visitors are asked their intended duration in Australia upon arrival.

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

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

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

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


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

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

              Resident returns annually - 2019

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

              Key statistics

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

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

              Short-term resident returns

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

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

                Australians travelled across the globe during 2019:

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


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

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

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

                 

                ​​​​​​​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%).

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                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.

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                Main reason for journey

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

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

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

                Duration of stay

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

                Notes

                Suspension of seasonally adjusted and trend estimates

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

                The trend estimates have been suspended from February 2020 for all STVA and STRR series.

                Both series will be reintroduced when patterns in the underlying behaviour of passenger travel movements stabilise. Original estimates can be produced and will continue to be published as usual. For more details please see paragraphs 20-35 of the Methodology  and the ABS Feature Articles: Methods changes during the COVID-19 period (cat. no. 1359.0 for June 2020); When It's not "Business-as-usual": Implications for ABS Time Series (cat. no. 1350.0 for Aug 2009).

                COVID-19 from February 2020

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

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

                Data notes

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

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

                Inquiries

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

                Data downloads

                I-notes

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

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

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

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

                Table 1: Total movement, arrivals - category of movement

                Table 2: Total movement, departures - category of movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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