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Aussie love affair with Asia shows up in latest stats

May 18, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Indonesia, China, Thailand, India and Japan rank among the most popular destinations for Australian travellers, according to latest official data.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures relating to outbound travel for the month of March 2018, show that growth to Indonesia (predominantly Bali) remained static when compared to the same month a year ago, whereas travel to Thailand grew by 3%. In sheer figures, however, Indonesia’s share of Australian travellers is over twice as high as that of Thailand.

New Zealand leads the market to such an extent that it drew almost as many Australians in March as the next two destinations (Indonesia and Thailand) combined.

Commenting on the newly released figures, ABS director of migration statistics, Myles Burleigh, said that not only were those five Asian countries among the most popular, many had also seen continued growth.

“Indonesia has long been a favourite destination for Australians, and more than 90,000 of us returned from short term trips to Indonesia in March. However, a number of other Asian countries are rapidly catching up. China has really grown in popularity in recent times; 47,000 Australians returned from China, up 5% on last year.

“Japan is up 14% on last year, and India and Vietnam both up around 11%.

“Singapore however bucked the trend, down 6%.”

New Zealand remained the most popular destination overall, with 130,000 residents returning in March. However this represented a 3% decline.

The US saw a decrease of 2% whereas the UK was the only non-Asian destination in the top 10 up on last year, increasing by 3%.


Mar ’17 to Mar ’18 Original
Country of Stay(a) Trend % change ‘000
Japan 14 35.4
India 11 35.8
Vietnam 11 28.7
China 5 46.9
United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man 3 23.8
Thailand 3 42.7
Indonesia 0 90.3
United States of America -2 62.3
New Zealand -3 130.2
Singapore -6 34.2
(a) Top 10 destination countries based on original estimates for Short-term Resident Returns, Australia – March 2018.

Written by Peter Needham

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