Number of visitors to Australia set to grow to 50 million a year by 2020

by Ray Clancy on January 10, 2018

in Australia Travel

Australia is set to continue to be a popular destination for visitors from all over the world with the latest figures showing that 40 million people arrived by air in 2017.

According to the Australian Border Force that figure was a record and it forecasts that the number of travellers being processed at airports will rise to 50 million by 2020.


The figures also show that more than 2.3 million holiday travellers arrived in Australia over the busy Christmas and New Year period.

‘The first weekend of the year is traditionally one of the busiest periods for our officers and 2018 was no exception, with more than 450,000 people arriving and departing between o5 and 07 January, almost 7% more than the same period last year,’ said an ABF spokesman.

Between 22 December 2017 and 7 January 2018, a total of 2,370,142 travellers were processed, an average of almost 140,000 per day.

Almost a million of those travellers passed through Sydney International Airport, with 458,827 arrivals and 507,946 departures over the period, up 4.6% compared with 2016.

A number of other airports also reported increased passenger traffic. There was an 8.7% increase in passengers at Adelaide airport to 62,251 and an 8% increase in Brisbane to 337,649.

Passenger numbers at Canberra totalled 6,188 and Townsville 2,557 as both airports saw significantly increased traffic as international services have been boosted.

Overall 23 December 2017 was the busiest single day of the year for ABF airport officers with 74,383 arrivals and 79,769 departures across the country. But it is getting faster and easier for visitors with almost 60% of passengers able to quickly self-process through the state of the art SmartGates.

Acting Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Border Command, Tim Fitzgerald, said Australians should be assured that the ABF is well placed to deal with increasing passenger numbers and the security challenges these present.

‘Thanks to our advanced border screening technology, including SmartGates, and the dedication and professionalism of our officers, we are able to efficiently process large volumes of legitimate travellers while also focusing our efforts on those who pose a risk to the border,’ he pointed out.

‘ABF officers play a critical role in identifying and processing individuals who cross our borders to ensure the safety of the Australian community and have access to a range of innovative technologies,’ he added.

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