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India leads the way as short-term visitors revive in Australia

In 2022-23, India was the only one among the top 10 source countries to exceed pre-COVID levels, achieving a remarkable 103% of 2018-19 arrivals.

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In a turn of events for Australia’s tourism industry, India emerges as the frontrunner in international short-term visitor arrivals for the year ending June 2023. With travel restrictions lifting and the global community recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Land Down Under has seen a remarkable increase in short-term visitors from around the world.

According to the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the top five source countries for visitor arrivals in 2022-23 were New Zealand, the UK, the USA, India, and Singapore.

As Australia welcomes tourists back with open arms, the statistics reveal that short-term visitor arrivals for all top five source countries exceeded the previous year, owing to the removal of international travel restrictions. New Zealand remains the largest source country for visitor arrivals, accounting for 1,082,420 visits. The UK follows closely as the second highest source, with 573,560 visitors. A decade ago, in 2012-13, New Zealand, China, the UK, the USA, and Japan were the top five source countries.

These encouraging numbers signify a notable resurgence in the Australian tourism sector since the easing of travel restrictions in November 2021. However, the recovery rates from different countries have varied significantly, with India emerging as the standout performer. In 2022-23, India was the only one among the top 10 source countries to exceed pre-COVID levels, achieving a remarkable 103% of 2018-19 arrivals. In contrast, China had the slowest recovery rate, reaching just 17% of the 2018-19 visitor volumes.

India emerges as the frontrunner in international short-term visitor arrivals for the year ending June 2023.
Photo: ABS

India stands out as a consistent contributor to the nation’s international visitor arrivals. The table provides a comprehensive overview of short-term visitor arrivals from the top 10 source countries across selected years, highlighting India’s significant presence.

In 2012-13, India sent 171.9 thousand visitors to Australia, and by 2018-19, this number had risen to 372.04 thousand, showcasing a notable growth trend. Even during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic in 2021-22, India sent 134.47 thousand visitors to Australia. The most recent data for 2022-23 reveals that India’s contribution to Australian tourism remains steadfast, with 383.38 thousand visitors.

New Zealand consistently ranks as the top source country for visitors to Australia, with 1,082.42 thousand arrivals in 2022-23, despite a dip from 1,407.24 thousand visitors in 2018-19.

The United Kingdom, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, maintains a substantial presence in Australian tourism, with 573.56 thousand visitors in 2022-23. Although there was a decline from the 2018-19 figure of 718.58 thousand, the UK remains a key contributor.

The United States is another prominent source country, with 557.29 thousand visitors in 2022-23. While there was a decline from 811.98 thousand visitors in 2018-19, the USA remains a significant contributor to Australian tourism.

Singapore, China, and Japan continue to be important sources of visitors to Australia. Singapore sent 357.43 thousand visitors in 2022-23, while China saw a decline to 241.73 thousand, possibly due to travel restrictions. Japan contributed 173.15 thousand visitors.

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