Drop in overseas tourist arrivals. Image – Canva
  • Overseas arrivals of short term visitors has dropped 98% in the 2020-21 financial year
  • Visiting friends or relatives is the number one reason for travel, followed by business and employment
  • Majority of travelers arrived through the Trans-Tasman travel bubble agreement

The statistics on overseas tourists in Australia are in, and it is as grim as can be expected.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), has reported a massive 98% decline in arrivals during the 2020-21 financial year.

151,000 overseas visitors arrived in Australia for short term trips during the year, over half (56%) of arrivals came from New Zealand, arriving through the Trans-Tasman travel bubble agreement.

ABS Director of Migration Statistics, Jenny Dobak, explained that in the year until June, 6.6 million fewer short term travellers arrived in Australia, compared to the year before.

“This fall can be attributed to the impact of COVID-19 on international travel throughout the year.”

Jenny Dobak, ABS Director of Migration Statistics

Prior to the pandemic, almost half of arrivals in Australia were holidaymakers. The most recent reports reveal half of the arrivals cite visiting family and friends as the main reason for travel.

Business and employment are other major reasons for short term travel to Australia since the pandemic began.

Short-term visitor arrivals to Australia

short term visitor arrivals
Source: ABS

A short term stay is defined as less than 12 months.

New South Wales was the number one destination for short term visitors receiving 47.6% of all arrivals. Queensland (25%) was the second most popular followed by Victoria (13.6%) and then Western Australia (7.5%).

Men made up 55.7% of arrivals.

The arrival of resident returns declined 97.8% from the previous financial year, to reach 223,830.

Short-term visitor arrivals to Australia by age and sex

Source – ABS
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