March visitor figures lay bare COVID-19's impact on travel, but worst yet to come

May 12, 2020

By Hamish Hastie

The collapse of travel to Western Australia as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been laid bare in the March visitor statistics released on Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Visitors arriving in WA for a short-term trip in March plummeted 52.6 per cent when compared to March 2019.

WA expericned a 52 per cent drop in visitors over March.

WA expericned a 52 per cent drop in visitors over March.CREDIT:JASON SOUTH

Of those countries, Malaysian visitors dropped the most with a 71.6 per cent decline, more than 6000 people in visitor terms.

China and Singapore were not far behind with drops of 10.7 per cent and 68.9 per cent respectively.

The second half of March saw border closures ramped up, travel bans put in place and quarantine procedures implemented, which means April figures are likely to be even worse.

WA fared slightly better than the national figure, which recorded its largest-ever drop in overseas travel at 60 per cent.

ABS Director of Migration Statistics Jenny Dobak said there was also a record fall in the number of Australian residents returning from short-term trips overseas, down 29 per cent to 538,400.

"In March 2020, there were 331,900 visitors who had arrived for a short-term trip compared to 836,300 12 months earlier," she said.

"The steep fall in visitor arrivals to Australia in March was from all regions around the world. Even our largest source country New Zealand recorded a 56 per cent drop.

"Of the top 10 source countries, China recorded the largest decrease of 78 per cent followed closely by Japan with a decrease of 75 per cent."

The post about “March visitor figures lay bare COVID-19's impact on travel, but worst yet to come" appeared first on the WA Today website.

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