Australians pick Indonesia over NZ for a holiday

For the first time since Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has collected travel records (nearly 50 years ago), in 2023 Indonesia replaced New Zealand as the top destination for short-term trips overseas by Australians (short-term resident returns).

Around 1.37 million Australians travelled to Indonesia in 2023, while 1.26 million travelled to New Zealand. 

For Australian’s travelling to Indonesia, 86 per cent were going for a holiday and 7 per cent to visit friends or relatives. It was different for those going to New Zealand, with 43 per cent going for a holiday and 38 per cent to visit friends or relatives.

Jenny Dobak, ABS head of migration statistics, said: “New Zealand has been the leading destination annually since our records began nearly 50 years ago. Short-term resident returns are still climbing towards pre-pandemic levels. They are yet to reach the peak of 2019.”

We can also see that short-term resident returns are recovering quicker than short-term visitor arrivals. This shows that there are more Australians going overseas for a short-term trip than international visitors coming to Australia,” Ms Dobak said.

Last year, nearly 10 million Australians returned from a short-term trip overseas, compared with over 11 million in 2019. 

Meanwhile, we had just over 7 million international visitors arriving for a short-term trip in 2023, compared with 9.5 million in 2019. 

Most visitors in 2023 arrived from New Zealand (1.27 million), followed by the USA (0.66 million) and the UK (0.60 million).  

For those arriving, holidaying has returned to the most common reason for visiting Australia, accounting for 40 per cent of travellers in 2023. Visiting friends and relatives was the main reason during the pandemic, but now sits at 37 per cent of travellers.

Further details can be found in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia - December 2023, available on the ABS website.

- Asia Media Centre