In December, Chinese visitor arrivals to Australia overtook arrival visitor numbers from the UK for the first time, making China, Australia’s second largest source of tourists.
The number of international visitors to Australia increased by three per cent in the year ending September 2012 according to Tourism Research Australia’s latest International Visitors Survey, with results showing a continued trend of strong growth from China.
Chinese arrivals increased by 17 percent to 573,000 – surpassing the UK at 558,000 – and making China Australia’s second biggest market behind New Zealand.
“Australia has continued to see steady growth in international visitation in the last year despite challenging global economic conditions,” said Australian Tourism Minister, Martin Ferguson.
Mr Ferguson said that while conditions in Europe remained tough, with a two percent decrease in the number of European arrivals, this was being offset by increases from Asia, up six percent.
A recent positive recovery in visitor numbers from the United States had also helped to ensure good growth.
In the 12 months to September, visitor nights from all markets increased by six percent and spend in Australia increased by four percent to $18.7 billion.
The strongest growing sector in terms of arrivals during the year ending September 2012 were those travelling to visit friends and relatives, which showed an increase of 5 percent to 1.4 million, with total nights and spend in Australia also up by 10 percent for this sector.
“These numbers are a positive reinforcement that our tourism strategy is working. That we are increasingly making Australia a long-stay destination where people are choosing to stay the extra days or weeks to have a look around and see what this country has to offer,” Mr Ferguson said. ■
*Pictured: In October, China overtook the United Kingdom as Australia’s second largest inbound market by volume, and remained the most economically valuable source of tourism, worth close to A$4 billion annually. (Tourism Australia)
International Visitor Survey to October 2012
– There were 119,000 visitors from New Zealand during October 2012, bringing the total for the ten months to
October to 989,100 an increase of 3.1 per cent relative to the same period of the previous year.
– There were 51,000 visitors from the United Kingdom during October 2012, bringing the total for the ten
months to October to 440,200, a decrease of 4.0 percent relative to the same period previous year.
– There were 44,600 visitors from China during October 2012, bringing the total for the ten months to October to 515,000, an increase of 16.0 percent relative to the same period previous year.
– There were 13,900 visitors from Hong Kong during October 2012, bringing the total for the ten months to October to 143,200, an increase of 5.6 percent relative to the same period previous year.
– There were 8,200 visitors from Taiwan during October 2012, bringing the total for the ten months to October to 80,100, an increase of 12.2 percent relative to the same period previous year.
*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Overseas Arrivals and Departures