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Full impact of COVID-19 revealed

Australia recorded 6.7 million overseas visitor arrivals for the year 2019-20, down 27.9 per cent on the previous year and the lowest since 2013-14, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The impact of COVID-19 on travel to Australia commenced in February 2020, with the start of border restrictions by the Australian Government.

Prior to this the nation set a record with 9.5 million visitors for the year ending January 2020.

"Over the last year there were increases every month until February 2020 when the impact of COVID-19 started,” ABS spokesperson Jenny Dobak said.

"Once the tighter restrictions came into effect on the 20 March, the drop in visitors arriving was dramatic, being close to 100 per cent."

During 2019-20, New Zealand was the largest source country with over one million visitors. This was followed by China (900,000) and the USA (581,000).

For the year, the average duration of stay for visitors arriving on a short-term trip was 12 days. Of the top 10 source countries, those travelling from India stayed the longest (53 days on average), followed by the UK (20 days). The shortest durations were for Japan (six days) and New Zealand (seven days).

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It's each country for itself as regards the health of its citizens although there must be a balance between health and the economy. Travel restrictions may not be lifted unless there is a vaccine and we need a vaccine with limited side effects.

 

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