Tourism and leisure travel is the force behind an 8% leap in international visitor arrivals to reach a record 6.4 million visitors.
Results from the latest International Visitor Survey, released by Tourism Research Australia yesterday, show that for the year ending December 2014:
- International visitor numbers increased 8% to a record 6.4 million visitors (aged 15 and over).
- Total trip expenditure rose 7% to a new high of AUD 31.1 billion.
- Leisure travel dominated growth in visitors, with holiday arrivals increasing 8% to 2.9 million, and those visiting friends and relatives up 10% to 1.8 million.
- 14 of Australia’s top 20 markets reported record arrivals.
- Asian markets grew strongly, with increases in visitors and their total trip spend (both up 11%).
Four of the top five markets saw record visitation, with visitor numbers from China rising by 18% to 784,000 and trip spend growing 19% to AUD 5.7 billion. China now accounts for 18% of total trip spend.
Visitation from the USA continued at record levels, with visitors up 11% to 523,000 and trip spend up 9% to AUD 2.8 billion. Visitor numbers from Singapore increased 10% to 325,000 and trip spend increased 9% to AUD 1.2 billion.
New Zealand also saw strong growth, with visitors up 5% to 1.1 million and trip spend up 6% to AUD 2.4 billion, however, UK visitors were down by 1% to 615,000.
“Given the current record performance, coupled with the lower Australian dollar, our proximity to the growth markets of Asia, and continued economic recovery in Western markets, the outlook for inbound travel remains positive,” Tourism Research Australia’s assistant general manager, Spiro Kavadias, commented.
“With record international arrivals and strong growth in the investment pipeline, the tourism industry is in a good position to attain its Tourism 2020 goal of increasing overnight tourism expenditure to between AUD 115 and AUD 140 billion by 2020,” Kavadias said.
Edited by Peter Needham