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Big-spending China and fast-growing India impress

June 20, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

China has drawn abreast of New Zealand as a visitor source for Australia, with each of those two countries supplying 1.3 million visitors to Australia in the year ending March 2019 – but the Chinese are spending over four times as much as the Kiwis, according to the latest International Visitor Survey released yesterday.

China remained Australia’s leading tourism market during the year ending March 2019, with numbers increasing by 3% to 1.3 million visitors, while trip spend increased 10% to reach AUD 12 billion, an additional AUD 1.1 billion.

Visitor numbers from New Zealand increased by 2% during the year to reach 1.3 million. Trip spend also increased 2% to reach AUD 2.6 billion.

India continued as the strongest growth market, with visitor numbers up 15% to 343,000, nights up 21% to 20.9 million, and trip spend jumping 12% to reach a record AUD 1.7 billion.

Visitation from the UK was soft, down 4% to 673,000 visitors, with nights down 6% to 21.4 million, and trip spend down 5% to AUD 3.3 billion.

US visitation returned mixed results. Visitor numbers remained steady at 750,000, while nights fell by 8% to 13.1 million, and trip spend increased 6% to reach AUD 4 billion, which suggests a better result for high yield visitors.

Federal Minster for Tourism Simon Birmingham said Australia’s tourism industry continued to show solid growth with more than 8.5 million international travellers spending a record AUD 44.3 billion to the year ending March 2019.

“Australia remains a highly sought-after destination among international travellers, with international arrival numbers and visitor spending both at record levels,” Birmingham said.

“Our AUD 136 billion tourism industry is such a vital part of our economy, with nearly 45,000 tourism jobs created over the past five years and 43 cents of every visitor dollar now spent in the regions.

Chinese tour group in Sydney

“Whilst some markets are showing maturity or the importance of our focus on high value travellers, in others we’re starting to see stronger growth, including Japan, Taiwan, and across South and South East Asia.

“India continues to demonstrate why it is a crucial market for Australia with double digit growth in both visitation and visitor spend, now making it our fastest growing market. Visitation from India is up 14.6% to 342, 694 and spending up 12% to AUD 1.7 billion.

“With its emerging middle class, proximity to Australia, improving air access and increasingly competitive airfares there is definitely further opportunity to expand South and South East Asia’s tourism potential.

“Travellers from India, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia already account for more than 1.3 million international arrivals each year and inject more than AUD 5 billion into the Australian economy.

“It’s why last year we launched our UnDiscover Australia campaign which encourages travellers from South and South East Asia, as well as in Japan, to experience the more unusual, unfamiliar and unexpected destinations on offer around our country

Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

“Undiscover aims to challenge travellers’ perceptions and stereotypes of Australia by showcasing unusual and unfamiliar attractions and experiences. Whilst we still want travellers to visit our hotspots, we also want them to spend an extra few days or week to visit some of our more untapped regions.

“Since its launch we have seen a 60% increase in conversions with airline partners, while early brand tracking results indicate that the campaign is having a positive effect on consumers in terms of intention to visit, desirability and fashionability.

“Our Government continues to deliver record funding to Tourism Australia for cutting-edge campaigns such as Undiscover to attract more international travellers to our shores as a booming tourist sector helps contribute to a stronger economy and create more Australian jobs.”

Written by Peter Needham

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