Australia International Travel: The End of the COVID Era

International travel to and from Australia is surging, with significant increases in visitor arrivals and resident returns. For residents, it brings cultural exchanges and reconnecting opportunities, enriching Australia’s diverse social fabric. Understanding these trends can help you navigate the dynamic travel and immigration landscape effectively.


Australia has witnessed a notable surge in international travel, as evidenced by the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). January 2024 saw 603,770 short-term visitor arrivals, marking an annual increase of 191,360 trips. Additionally, short-term resident returns reached 1,392,890, an increase of 294,990 trips from the previous year. Total arrivals hit 2,122,070, while total departures were at 1,745,840, both showing significant annual growth.

Visitor Arrivals and Resident Returns

In January 2024, short-term visitor arrivals reached 603,770, marking a significant annual increase. Similarly, short-term resident returns were at 1,392,890, showing a substantial rise from the previous year.

Graph 1: Monthly Visitor Arrivals

Total Arrivals and Departures

The total arrivals hit 2,122,070, while total departures were 1,745,840, both indicating notable growth.

Graph 2: Total Overseas Arrivals and Departures

Economic Implications

The rise in international travel is a positive indicator for Australia’s economy. Increased visitor numbers contribute to the tourism sector, which in turn supports hospitality, retail, and other related industries. The influx of visitors boosts spending, leading to job creation and economic growth. The return of residents from abroad also signifies renewed confidence in Australia’s handling of the pandemic and its economic stability. The below image shows the short-term visitor arrivals by state or territory of stay, which highlights the increased touristic activities that are seen more majorly in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane/Gold Coast. 

Image 1: Short-term Visitors by State/Territory of Stay

Immigration Landscape

The spike in international arrivals and departures may impact visa approvals and cancellations. With more people traveling, there could be an increase in visa applications for both short-term visits and long-term stays. This trend necessitates efficient processing systems and robust policies to manage the growing demand. Additionally, the data can help policymakers understand migration patterns and adjust immigration policies to support Australia’s economic and social objectives. 

Life in Australia

For residents, the resurgence in international travel brings a return to normalcy, with opportunities for cultural exchange and reconnecting with loved ones abroad. The diversity of visitors enhances Australia’s multicultural landscape, enriching the social fabric of the nation. However, the increased movement also underscores the need for continued vigilance in public health measures to prevent potential outbreaks.


The latest ABS statistics reveal a significant rebound in international travel to and from Australia, signaling positive economic trends and a dynamic immigration landscape. As we navigate this resurgence, it is crucial to balance growth with effective management to ensure a thriving, inclusive, and resilient Australia.

For detailed statistics and further information, you can visit the ABS website.

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