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Latest figures on Australian travel to the USA

March 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Latest official figures on Australian travel to the US (issued yesterday by the US Department of Commerce) seem broadly in line with those issued a little earlier by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showing Australian resident returns from short-term trips to America.

Latest estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (for the calendar year 2017) indicate travel to the US from Australia fell by -3.8% last year.

Yesterday’s US Department of Commerce figures cover the first three quarters of the 2017 calendar year. They show 145,969 Australian visitors arrived in the month of September 2017. That was -1.6% fewer than arrived in the same month in 2016. In the first three quarters of calendar 2017 (the nine months ending 30 September 2017) 995,215 Australian visitors arrived in the US, -2.2% fewer than arrived in the previous corresponding period.

The US Department of Commerce forecasts that last year (2017) will end up being -2% down on the previous year in visits from Australia. That indicates the downward trend is slowing, as visits from Australia to the US declined by -7% in 2016.

LAX, gateway to the USA for many Australians

Against that, survey findings released recently by Roy Morgan indicate the US is “now clearly the preferred overseas holiday destination for Australians” with 17.9% of Australians in the year to November 2017 indicating they would like to holiday in the US for at least one night in the next two years. That’s marginally higher than a year ago.

The fall in Australian visits to the US is less that that from many other countries. The “Trump Slump” remains a hot topic in the US tourism sector, with a recent US National Travel and Tourism Office report showing a 3.3% drop in travel spending and a 4% decline in inbound travel, with a loss of USD 4.6 billion and 40,000 jobs.

Since 2015, the US and Turkey have been the only places among the top 12 global travel destinations to experience a decline in inbound visitors. Turkey experienced a series of terror attacks and a failed coup. The US had a strong dollar and Donald Trump.

Other countries, including Australia, Canada, China and Britain, have made sizable gains in visitation over the same period.

Written by Peter Needham

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