Inbound arrivals hit 12-month high

September 3rd, 2014 | | industry

12.13.2012_2-600x371The most recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that short-term visitor arrivals to Australia increased almost 8 per cent, to a record of 6.6 million for the year ending June 2014.

Results from the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) show that international visitor expenditure for the 12 months ending March 2014 also reached a record of A$29.6 billion, up six per cent for the year.

The results come as Tourism Australia releases its Quarterly Market Update on the state of the industry. According to the report, international visitation to Australia is tracking strongly, with growth driven by the leisure segment, with holiday arrivals up 9.7 per cent and Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) up 14.9 per cent for the year. Record visitor numbers from New Zealand, Germany, the USA, and Malaysia were also recorded for the 12 months.

Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, said the tourism and hospitality sectors were to be congratulated for the energy they are putting into attracting increasing numbers of international visitors.

“Tourism is one of our great strengths but we need to keep actively pursuing the opportunities while investing in infrastructure that meets growing demand,” he said.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan echoed Minister Robb’s positive comments.

“The latest ABS figures provide further evidence that Australia’s tourism industry is performing strongly, with solid growth being spread across traditional and new, east and west, emerged and emerging markets,” he said.

International visitor expenditure is also growing, rising to close to A$30 billion for the year-ending March 2014. Visitor expenditure from China has now surpassed the A$5 billion mark.

Visitors from China travelling to Australia for Holiday and Visiting Friends and Relative purposes grew 23 per cent in the January to March 2014 quarter compared to the same quarter last year, leading to a significant 44 per cent increase in visitor spend in the same quarter.

Asia remains the primary source of growth in visitor expenditure, representing 47 per cent of total expenditure and contributing 42 per cent of growth during the 12 months to the end of March 2014.

The latest issue of Tourism Research Australia’s bi-annual Tourism Forecasts (June 2014) estimates international visitor arrivals will grow 5.7 per cent to seven million in June 2015. Longer term, international visitor arrivals are forecast to grow 4.5 per cent annually through to 2022-23. Arrivals from China are forecast to grow to similar levels as New Zealand, with more than one million visitors annually.

The full Quarterly Market Update report can be downloaded here

Written by Kris Madden