Insights on transient population changes—Cruise Ship Analysis.

Lead agencies


Enduring question 5.5a

How, when, why and in what numbers do people travel to, from and within Australia, for what purposes, what are the origins and destinations of their journeys?

Gap addressed

Insights on transient population changes.


State-run Household Travel Surveys and ABS census and Journey to Work surveys provide detailed information on the large scale movement of people in Australia. However, understanding fluctuations in temporary population estimates, which represent actual population counts for areas at particular points in time, are a significant data gap and can potentially provide new insights on large scale movements of people.

Information on changes in temporary populations is particularly relevant for large scale temporary population changes associated with cruise ship arrivals. These population increases lead to increased strain on port infrastructure and transport networks surrounding cruise ship terminals, and are becoming more common with increasing passenger numbers and the growing size of cruise ships.

Anonymised and aggregated telecommunications data are a potential source of information that can fill this data gap.


Conduct a pilot study using telecommunications models to better understand changes in temporary populations associated with cruise ship arrivals.

Project update

BITRE is negotiating with telecommunications data providers to examine temporary population changes associated with the arrival of Ovation of Seas in Hobart in March 2018.