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Overseas Travel Statistics, Provisional

Provisional statistics on international travel based on initial border crossings, arriving in and departing from Australia, including tourism trips

Reference period
May 2021
Released
16/06/2021

Key statistics

Provisional estimates of overseas trips in May 2021 show:

  • A total of 115,600 arrivals
  •  44,600 Australian citizens arrivals (39%), 9,900 permanent visa holders (9%), 52,300 New Zealand citizens (45%) and 10,100 temporary visa holders (9%)
  • A total of 108,300 departures

Notice: Ceasing future releases

This temporary product was introduced to provide more timely travel data in response to COVID-19. In line with the ABS work program changes announced on 20 April 2021, this product will cease in July 2021. For further information, see "Changes to the ABS statistical work program".

The last release will be on 14/07/2021.
 
Provisional travel data for total overseas arrivals and total overseas departures will be added to the monthly Overseas Arrivals and Departures publication from the June issue scheduled for release on the 17 August 2021. 

Travel restrictions

These statistics are compiled using information from the Department of Home Affairs.

With the introduction of the New Zealand quarantine free travel bubble on 18 April 2021, there have been increases in arrivals and departures for May. Travel numbers remain historically low compared with pre-COVID levels.

For information on travel restrictions see the Department of Home Affairs website.

Migration Statistics

This release presents statistics on, provisional monthly estimates of overseas travel, which is not the same as migration statistics.

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

Arrivals

Provisional statistics on international travel movements of persons arriving in Australia. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

Key findings

All overseas arrivals to Australia in May 2021 (provisional estimates):

  • 115,600 estimated arrivals, an increase of 60,800 compared with the previous month
  • May 2021 arrivals decreased 92.7 per cent when compared with pre-COVID levels in May 2019
  • 44,600 Australian citizens arrivals (39%), 9,900 permanent visa holders (9%), 52,300 New Zealand citizens (45%) and 10,100 temporary visa holders (9%).
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All arrivals - by citizenship

The five largest countries of citizenship (excluding Australian) for all arrivals to Australia in May 2021 were:

  • New Zealand (52,300)
  • UK (2,400)
  • China (1,900)
  • India (1,400)
  • USA (1,100).
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1.3 All arrivals - Top 10 Countries of citizenship - provisional estimates(a)
Country of citizenshipMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
New Zealand152,8102,32020,30052,280-65.8%
UK(b)52,2705401,1902,440-95.3%
China(c)123,5706201,5401,920-98.4%
India62,2201,3101,7901,400-97.8%
USA56,8403008301,080-98.1%
Philippines23,010250570870-96.2%
Vanuatu1,0600510600-43.6%
South Africa5,110170350460-90.9%
Japan31,050110320420-98.6%
Malaysia51,73080300410-99.2%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(b) Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
(c) Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
 

All arrivals - by visa group

The three largest visa groups arriving in Australia in May 2021 were:

  • Temporary other visas (4,600)
  • Permanent skilled visas (3,800)
  • Temporary visitor visas (3,300).
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1.4 All arrivals - Visa groups - provisional estimates(a)
Visa GroupMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
Permanent Family Visas25,0101,2602,6203,160-87.4%
Permanent Other Visas55,2501,1901,7802,940-94.7%
Permanent Skilled Visas42,9801,6402,6903,830-91.1%
Temporary Other Visas30,1609404,0904,650-84.6%
Temporary Skilled Visas19,6401901,1501,480-92.5%
Temporary Student Visas36,81040280400-98.9%
Temporary Visitor Visas457,8907502,4503,330-99.3%
Temporary Work Visas20,72030150210-99.0%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.

 

All arrivals - by state or territory of clearance

All international travellers must be processed and cleared by Australia's Border Force via specific seaports or airports around the country. This information provides the state or territory of clearance for each traveller.

For May 2021, the states receiving the largest number of arrivals were:

  • NSW (42,300)
  • Qld (35,100)
  • Vic. (26,600).
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1.5 All arrivals - State or Territory of clearance - provisional estimates(a)
State of clearanceMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
NSW642,0509,75022,51042,330-93.4%
Vic.436,9405,92010,61026,640-93.9%
Qld292,1202,15012,63035,080-88.0%
SA39,09002,3803,090-92.1%
WA163,2201,1705,0305,830-96.4%
Tas.00140490n.a
NT13,3302101,4902,140-83.9%
ACT3,1302101020-99.3%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
n.a The percentage change could not be calculated because the denominator is zero

Departures

Provisional statistics on international travel movements of persons departing Australia. It is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people.

Key findings

All overseas departures from Australia in May 2021 (provisional estimates):

  • 108,300 estimated departures, an increase of 43,200 compared with the previous month
  • May 2021 departures decreased 93.4 per cent when compared with pre-COVID levels in May 2019
  • 41,400 Australian citizens departures (38%), 6,000 permanent visa holders (6%), 48,500 New Zealand citizens (45%) and 14,200 temporary visa holders (13%).
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All departures - by citizenship

The five largest countries of citizenship (excluding Australian) for all departures from Australia in May 2021 were:

  • New Zealand (48,500)
  • China (4,100)
  • UK (2,500)
  • USA (1,400)
  • India (980).
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2.3 All departures - Top 10 Countries of citizenship - provisional estimates(a)
Country of citizenshipMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
New Zealand145,6703,14023,90048,540-66.7%
China(b)124,5504,2004,0104,070-96.7%
UK(c)68,6003,3801,3802,470-96.4%
USA57,0101,1509701,410-97.5%
India48,6601,6502,400980-98.0%
Malaysia43,490670470620-98.6%
Philippines19,840280380590-97.0%
South Korea23,8402,050390500-97.9%
France16,6801,100340490-97.0%
Germany18,0001,200280380-97.9%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(b) Excludes SARs & Taiwan.
(c) Includes the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

 

All departures - by visa group

The three largest visa groups departing from Australia in May 2021 were:

  • Temporary other visas (7,600)
  • Temporary visitor visas (3,000)
  • Permanent other visas (2,600).
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2.4 All departures - Visa groups - provisional estimates(a)
Visa GroupMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
Permanent Family Visas22,2103109401,240-94.4%
Permanent Other Visas52,3807402,1002,570-95.1%
Permanent Skilled Visas36,8305801,9702,190-94.1%
Temporary Other Visas38,1305,2407,7107,570-80.2%
Temporary Skilled Visas18,5308701,0901,260-93.2%
Temporary Student Visas39,2905,4601,8901,830-95.3%
Temporary Visitor Visas463,2009,6502,2603,000-99.4%
Temporary Work Visas24,2504,510470540-97.8%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.

 

All departures - by state and territory of clearance

All international travellers must be processed and cleared by Australia's Border Force via specific seaports or airports around the country. This information provides the state or territory of clearance for each traveller.

For May 2021, the states receiving the largest number of departures were:

  • NSW (43,300)
  • Qld (30,400)
  • Vic. (25,400).
Download
2.5 All departures - State or Territory of clearance - provisional estimates(a)
State of clearanceMay-19May-20Apr-21May-21May-19 to May-21
% change
NSW655,89020,67027,82043,320-93.4%
Vic.446,2809,11017,29025,390-94.3%
Qld303,3603,04014,81030,410-90.0%
SA43,95005301,520-96.5%
WA168,4602,3303,9906,790-96.0%
Tas.2001905702750.0%
NT14,120270430250-98.2%
ACT4,4200020-99.6%

(a) To confidentialise, estimates have been rounded to the nearest 10.
n.a The percentage change could not be calculated because the denominator is zero
Note: Large percentage changes can be observed due to fluctuations of small numbers 

Data downloads

1. Total movement, arrivals and departures - country of citizenship

2. Total movement, arrivals and departures - visa group

3. Total movement, arrivals and departures - state of clearance

All data cubes

Notes

New publication in response to COVID-19

This is a temporary monthly publication in response to COVID-19 and the heightened interest in traveller data. It provides information 4 weeks earlier than the regular monthly Overseas Arrivals and Departures (OAD)(cat. no. 3401.0) publication.

This publication contains provisional arrivals and departures information for the reference month based on initial border crossings into and out of Australia using the Department of Home Affairs Travel and Immigration Processing System (TRIPS). It contains early information on arrivals and departures, country of citizenship, major visa groups, and state or territory of clearance. Like Overseas Arrivals and Departures, it is the number of international border crossings rather than the number of people. Individuals who travel multiple times in a year are counted each time they cross Australia's borders.

More detailed information including important variables such as state of residence, duration of stay, country of residence and main reason for journey (which can only be sourced later from the passenger card) will be available in the subsequent release of Overseas Arrivals and Departures scheduled for release 6 weeks after the reference month.

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. Currently, all overseas travel is banned, with few exceptions. For more information, see the Smartraveller page from the Australian government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website or the News and Media page at the Australian government Department of Home Affairs website.

Forthcoming Issues

This temporary product was introduced to provide more timely travel data in response to COVID-19. In line with ABS work program changes announced on 20 April 2021, this product will cease in July 2021. 

For further information see "Changes to the ABS statistical work program".

The June 2021 issue will be released on 14 July 2021

Provisional travel data for total overseas arrivals and total overseas departures will be added to the monthly Overseas Arrivals and Departures publication from the June issue scheduled for release on the 17 August 2021. 

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3401.0.55.004.