Skilled and working holiday travellers enter Australian shores in droves


15 December 2023 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released its overseas migrant statistics, revealing the biggest single-year jump in Australia’s population, adding 518,000 people in the 2023 financial year. Arrivals are up 73 per cent from a year ago.

The ABS has highlighted an annual change increase of 6.9 per cent of skilled (permanent) visas, the highest increase of all permanent visas. Working holiday visas increased by nearly 50 per cent.

It shows the top five countries of birth contributing to net overseas migration as India, China, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Flight Centre Corporate (FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller) has seen a large increase in skilled workers and working holiday travellers entering the country, with business travellers from India, China, the Philippines and the United Kingdom having an average increase of travel into Australia of 98.5 per cent in the 2023, compared to the previous year.

Flight Centre Corporate ANZ Managing Director / FCM Global COO Melissa Elf said business travel had grown significantly in 2023, driven by the education, mining, health, construction and government sectors.

“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen large growth in inbound business travel bookings, with travel from the Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa and China at least doubling compared to 2022,” Ms Elf said.

“This is closely followed by inbound business travel from countries such as the U.S. which has grown by 93 per cent, and India and the UK by 73 per cent and 72 per cent respectively.”

“As Australia reopened its borders in February 2022, business travellers have flocked back to our shores in their droves.

“The growth we’re seeing in corporate travel speaks to the increasing level of skilled workers entering the country – both on permanent and temporary working arrangements.

“Sydney and Melbourne remain the most popular destination points, but as we see an increase in travel in the mining sector, travel into key mining destinations such as Perth, and even Brisbane, has grown.”

Western Australia has seen the highest population growth change compared to other states, at 3.1 per cent compared to the 2022 financial year. This was followed by Victoria, up 2.7 per cent and Queensland, up 2.6 per cent.

“Australia has long been an attractive country to international businesspeople, for the lifestyle of course, but also for our globally connected and stable economy, and our safety and reliability as an international trade partner,” Ms Elf said.




Percentage increase of corporate travel bookings in 2023 to date, compared to 2022*



New Zealand


South Africa




United States of America




United Kingdom




* Australia opened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from 21 Feb 2022.

**China’s borders opened on 8 January 2023, which is reflective of very strong growth in migration in 2023.

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