Droves of Australians visit Indonesia for a warmer winter
Departures to the UK, Fiji and Thailand fell year-on-year in August.
The latest departures statistics reveal an increasing number of Australians are escaping the winter chill, embracing the white sand beaches, tropical islands and warmer climate of Indonesia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) overseas arrivals and departures figures for August reveal there were 109,100 short-term departures from Australia to Indonesia, representing an increase of almost one-fifth (19.7%) more visitors than the same period last year.
Short-term movements are considered to be those spanning less than one year.
While New Zealand remains the second-most popular destination for Aussies taking short-term jaunts (2.8% rise in departures year-on-year), traveller numbers to the United Kingdom (-6.5%), Fiji (-4.3%) and Thailand (-2.1%) sustained moderate annual decreases.
Short-term resident departures to Canada rose a whopping 22% year-on-year, from 10,374 in August 2015 to 13,300 in August 2016.
Overall, there was a modest rise (5.7% year-on-year) in the total number of short-term international trips from Australia in August.
There was also a solid rise in short-term arrivals to Australia in August, up 11.7% year-on-year, with the greatest influx of tourists coming from South Korea (29.6%), the United States (23.6%) and Japan (19.6%).
Since August 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been progressively rolling out departure SmartGates to assist in processing passengers leaving the country. This technology is in place at every international airport in Australia, but since travellers are required to drop their outgoing passenger cards in drop boxes, rather than handing them to border authorities, there has been an increase in uncollected and missing cards.
To account for the missing data, the ABS added 170,821 records for missing outbound cards and a further 2,180 records for missing incoming cards in August 2016.
If jumping on a plane for hours and hours isn't your idea of ideal travel, why not try a cruise holiday this summer? With more than 40 ships and close to 900 calls to port, this summer's wave season is gearing up to be one of Australia's biggest ever. Whatever you decide, make sure you've got the right insurance.