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Australian visitors break through $40 billion mark

September 8, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

International visitor spend broke through the AUD 40 billion mark for the first time during the year ending June 2017, according to Tourism Research Australia figures released yesterday.

With a record 7.9 million international visitors aged 15 years and over choosing to travel to Australia, up 9% on the previous year, their spend reached a record $40.6 billion, up by 7%.

Visitors travelling for the purpose of education and holiday underpinned the growth in visitation during the year:

Education visitors increased 16% to reach 550,000, and they spent a total of $11 billion (up 18%), while staying a total of 73.2 million nights (up 17%). Education accounts for 7% of visitor arrivals and 27% of international visitor spend.

International holiday visitors increased by 11% to reach 3.9 million. They spent $16.7 billion, and stayed a total of 85.8 million nights, both of which increased 5% on the previous year. The holiday segment accounts for half of all visitor arrivals and 41% of international visitor spend.

Growth in arrivals occurred across most of Australia’s key markets. Of the top five markets, the United States (US) showed the strongest growth, with visitor numbers increasing 14% to reach a record 706,000, while spend increased 4% to a record AUD 3.8 billion. Over the last four years, this market has increased by 54% for arrivals and 53% for trip spend. This compares to 10% growth in visitors and 3% in spend between 2006 and 2013.

Arrivals from Japan increased 13% to reach 391,000, while spend increased 15% to reach AUD 1.8 billion – the largest spend for Japan since 2008.

China also recorded strong growth during the year. Both visitor numbers and trip spend increased 10% to reach 1.2 million and AUD 9.8 billion, respectively. China remains the top market in terms of trip spend, but is second behind New Zealand (NZ) in visitor arrivals.

Of the remaining top five markets, NZ and the United Kingdom (UK) returned weaker results. Arrivals from NZ were up 2% to 1.2 million, while spend was flat. Arrivals from the UK increased 3% to reach 682,000, while spend fell 8% to AUD 3.5 billion.

Other markets of note were:

  • India – visitors up 15% to reach 261,000, with spend up 30% to AUD 1.4 billion
  • Korea – visitors up 12%, while spend remained unchanged.
  • Among other Asian markets, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia also saw strong growth, along with the European markets of Germany and the Netherlands.

Edited by William Sykes

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