Australians short-term trips overseas – 2010 is highest on record

Australian residents made a record 6.8 million short-term trips overseas in 2009-10, according to the latest figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is up from 5.8 million movements in 2008-09, and more than double the movements ten years ago.

The most popular destination for Australian residents going overseas on short-term trips (i.e. less than 1 year) was New Zealand, with over 1 million movements across the Tasman occurring in the last financial year.

The next most popular destinations were Indonesia (650,000 movements), the USA (630,000), the UK (460,000) and Thailand (430,000). These top five destinations alone, accounted for just under half of all short-term resident departures for the year.

The most frequently cited reason for journey was holiday, contributing 55% of all short-term resident departures. Other common reasons were visiting friends and relatives (24%) and business (11%).

During the 2009–10 period, Australian residents on short-term trips stated their average time overseas was 15 days.

The movement rate (number of international movements per 1,000 state or territory population) for short-term resident departures varied considerably across the states and territories.

In 2009-10, Western Australia had the highest movement rate (434 movements per 1,000 population), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (429) and New South Wales (331). The lowest movement rate was in Tasmania, with 150 movements per 1,000 population.

Short-term visitor arrivals on the other hand, recorded 5.7 million movements in 2009–10. Although the highest on record, this series has remained relatively flat over recent years.

Traditionally, there are more short-term visitors arriving in Australia than short-term residents departing. However, since 2007–08 the reverse has occurred. In 2009–10 there were 1.1 million more short-term residents departing Australia than short-term visitors arriving.

Further information can be found in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, June 2010 (cat. no. 3401.0) available for free from the ABS web site

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