Australia Travel

Australia saw record numbers arriving over festive holiday period

by Ray Clancy on January 13, 2017

in Australia Travel

A record number of people travelled to Australia during the festive holiday period with 1.49 million passing through the country’s international airports.

During the holiday period between 22 December 2016 and 02 January 2017, total arrivals and departures at major international airports increased by 9.9% compared with the same time last year, according to figures from the Australian Border Force (ABF).

airport-arrivalThe ABF processed more than 1.49 million travellers through the Australian international airports during the peak holiday period and even last weekend saw record number with 148,069 arrivals and departures on 07 January and another 147,858 on 08 January.

Sydney welcomed the largest number of travellers at its international airport with 278,952 incoming travellers, an increase of 8.8% and 328,768 outgoing travellers, an increase of 9.6% on the same time last year.

Darwin had the largest percentage increase of travellers of all state and territory capitals with an increase of 29.1% on the same time last year, closely followed by Adelaide which experienced an increase of 23.3% during the same peak period last year.

Melbourne International Airport was also busy during the holiday peak with 170,939 incoming passengers, an increase of 13.4% and 210,811 outgoing passengers, an increase of 12.8%.

Rachel Houghton, acting Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Border Command, explained that SmartGates have helped make the process faster and more efficient for people at international airports.

For example, some 96,440 travellers on 07 January self processed using SmartGates and on the following day it was 97,322.

‘A combination of the introduction of outwards eGates increased SmartGate technology and staff commitment to flexible deployment has enabled the ABF to process a record number of travellers through Australian borders,’ said Houghton.

‘The increase in passengers has been well managed, with limited congestion and the maintenance of strong border protection outcomes. Our officers are better prepared than ever to assist the travelling public. The safety and security of the public and our staff remains our highest priority during this peak travel time,’ she added.

She pointed out that the number of travellers moving through Australia’s international airports is steadily increasing and continual improvements to technology and staff capability allows the ABF to maintain border security while managing the challenge of growing traveller numbers.

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