Lies, lies and stats, what the arrival numbers really say!

September 20th, 2017 | | Accommodation

A few weeks ago The Byte published the latest International Visitor Survey report. When our guest writer Janet McGarry from YHA analysed these a little further, the stats don’t show such a pretty picture.


  • June Quarter arrivals very marginally up compared to same Quarter 2016.
  • Year To Date (YTD) arrivals still up compared to YTD 2016 but the trend now for the last two quarters is flat, the worry is that upward signs in 2017 has stopped.
  • State visitation shows the only real growth is in NSW – states like WA are particularly suffering.
  • UK arrivals still trending down, whilst Germany and France are holding, and China showing some growth.


  • June Quarter nights are up, as is YTD compared to 2016.
  • VIC and WA are both down.
  • UK nights are modestly up.

Average length of stay YTD is 72.7 nights compared to 71.6 YTD 2016 so a modest increase but still well below the historic average of nearly 80 nights.

This illustrates the ongoing impact of fewer WHV travellers.

It is also worth looking at the overall IVS report here.

In particular, Table 8 shows ‘use of accommodation’ and the ongoing decline in hostel as an accommodation type. AirBnB is counted in the Other Private Accommodation category along with Homestay.

In cheerier figures, backpacker expenditure accounts for more than 11% of all visitor expenditure in Australia and is up 3.6% (Table 8) and you can see a good overview in Table 3c.

Overall Australia’s inbound visitation continues to grow – just under the magical 8 million arrivals and China is now neck and neck with New Zealand on 1.2 million visitors.

Source: IVS

Special thanks to guest writer Janet McGarry, YHA.