Double-digit growth for Australian visitor arrivals

Double-digit growth for Australian visitor arrivals

China close to deposing New Zealand as country's largest source market

China close to deposing New Zealand as country's largest source market

A cruise ship docks in Sydney Harbour
A cruise ship docks in Sydney Harbour

Australia’s tourism industry continued to show strong growth in March 2016, as the country achieved a double-digit increase in international visitor arrivals.

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the country welcomed 754,600 overseas visitors in March, an increase of 11.6% compared to the same month in 2015.

This brings the total number of international visitors for the first three months of 2016 to 2.17 million, an increase of 11.4% year-on-year.

“There’s plenty to like about these figures, with the month showing double-digit growth which maintains the strong momentum we’ve been enjoying since the start of the year,” said John O’Sullivan, managing director of Tourism Australia. “Feedback and early results from our new aquatic and coastal campaign have been very encouraging, so hopefully there is plenty more upside in the numbers for the rest of the year.”

New Zealand remained Australia’s largest source market in March 2016, accounting for 104,900 of the total arrivals. But this marked only a 1.0% year-on-year increase, and mainland China (+22.1 to 101,600) is now only fractionally behind New Zealand. The UK (+6.0% to 87,700), US (+16.3% to 72,000) and Japan (+26.2% to 43,800) completed the top five.

Holiday travel continued to drive international arrivals to Australia in March, with an increase of 29.5%, but business travel showed signs of softening, with a decline of 5.7% during the month. This is also evidence of a longer term trend, with business travel arrivals having fallen 5.2% in the 12 months to March 2016.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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