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Inbound roaring ahead and Kiwis still head the list

January 19, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The latest Overseas Arrivals figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) confirm that 8.2 million people travelled to Australia over the 12 months to November 2016, an increase of 11.3% over the previous year.

The following table presents the top 10 source countries (based on original estimates) for short-term visitor arrivals during November 2016. New Zealand is still number one, even though China is poised to overtake it, according to trend estimates.

When trend estimates for short-term visitor arrivals for November 2015 and November 2016 were compared, the highest percentage increase was recorded for Malaysia (22.9%), followed by India (20.8%) and South Korea (20.1%).

Short-term Visitor Arrivals, Australia – November 2016
Trend Seasonally Adjusted Original Oct ’16 to Nov ’16 Nov ’15 to Nov ’16
Country of Residence(a) ‘000 ‘000 ‘000 Trend % change Trend % change
New Zealand 113.3 111.2 109.2 -0.2 3.0
China 105.3 106.4 96.8 1.1 8.5
United States of America 62.5 61.6 67.9 0.3 15.3
UK, CIs & IOM(b) 58.8 57.9 66.9 -0.4 0.6
Singapore 36.6 36.1 41.9 -0.0 6.5
Japan 35.3 35.7 38.5 1.3 16.3
Malaysia 35.0 33.4 36.3 0.3 22.9
Korea, South 25.5 25.8 26.5 1.5 20.1
India 23.3 23.4 23.6 1.0 20.8
Germany 17.7 17.6 18.9 1.4 9.2
(a) Top 10 source countries based on original estimates.
(b) United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man


The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has welcomed the newest overseas arrival figures as a great start to the year and called on all levels of government to work with the tourism and transport industries to develop a strong growth agenda for Australia’s visitor economy in 2017.

“Last year was a year of tax hikes and fee increases on the tourism and transport industries with the backpacker tax and the increase in the holiday tax – the Passenger Movement Charge – to AUD 60,” TTF chief executive Margy Osmond commented yesterday.

“This year must be about the government keeping its hands out of the pockets of the industry so we can reach our full potential as a wealth and jobs generator for the nation.

“Today’s excellent figures don’t happen by accident or good fortune. It’s the hard work of industry and tourism authorities to promote Australia as a must-see destination for international visitors at a time when they can choose from anywhere in the world to travel – it’s a cut-throat competition and we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball for a second.

“While China continues to grab the headlines this year as it is anticipated to overtake New Zealand as our largest single visitor source market, we should not ignore the impressive growth we are experiencing in other Asian markets such as India (11.5%) Singapore (12.1%), Hong Kong (12.6%) Malaysia (15.7%), Japan (22.2%) and South Korea (27.2%).

“In the coming years we are going to see a surge of visitors that will want to experience what we have to offer and we need to ask ourselves right now are we ready to handle the millions of new visitors on their way?”

“We need to make 2017 a year in which government and industry sit down together as part of a high level discussion on what actions we need to implement to make sure our infrastructure from our airports and cruise terminals to our roads and public transport to our accommodation offering and our attractions are ready to meet the massive growth in demand.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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