BI and data visualization uncover Australia?s passenger air travel trends

In our last air travel related data visualization blog – BI and data visualization uncover Australia’s airfreight trends – we analyzed the flow of freight entering and leaving Australia by air from 2004 to 2010.

Today, we’re focusing on passenger air travel in and out of Australia over the same period.

Volume of passenger travel in and out of Australia by air (2004 – 2010)

Unsurprisingly, the total volume of Australian inbound and outbound passenger air traffic 2004 – 2010 is fairly even. If it wasn’t, Australia’s population would be shrinking or rising at an alarming rate.

The overall volume of air travel is steadily increasing. This gradual swell is probably reflective of stiff competition amongst commercial airlines. As prices are driven down, air travel and international holidays are becoming more accessible to a broader spectrum of income earners.

Passenger air travel revolves around seasonal peaks and troughs. Both inbound and outbound travel significantly increases shortly before and after each New Year (December – January) holiday period. People have time off work. It makes sense. However, there is another discernable trend in the data that is more perplexing. Every July, without fail, the number of inbound passengers to Australia increases considerably. Why? End of financial year business trips? Mid year holidays? We’re not sure.

Inbound passengers by country (2004 – 2010)

A word of caution: This particular data visualization is a little misleading. The report displays the inbound passengers by source (countries). However, only the final port prior to Australia is represented. Therefore, popular stopover destinations, such as Singapore, are dramatically over-represented. Likewise, many European countries will be under-represented for the same reason.

Despite this glitch, some of the most popular holiday destinations for Australian residents / sources of international tourists include: New Zealand, USA, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand.

Net passenger air travel by country (2004 – 2010)

This graph represents the net number of inbound and outbound passengers according to country. Once again, keep the Singapore rule in mind.

New Zealand receives the biggest disparity in outbound passengers, with 56,507 more passengers flying from Australia to New Zealand, then from New Zealand to Australia between 2004 and 2010.

On the other end of the scale, disregarding Singapore, Hong Kong leads the way in the net inbound disparity category – 189,556 more people have travelled from Hong Kong to Australia than Australia to Hong Kong (2004 – 2010).


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