Published on : Wednesday, January 15, 2014
International visitors to Australia grew 4.5 per cent in November, despite a fall in the number of arrivals from China following reforms to improve the experience for Chinese tourists, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
The ABS has today released Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for November, showing international arrivals up 4.5 per cent compared to November 2012 and 5.2 per cent higher for the year ending November. Outbound travel by Australians grew 6.6 per cent for the month to be up 6.4 per cent for the year.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the overall picture is positive.
“Additional aviation capacity continues to drive growth from key markets including Malaysia (+25.5% in November), Singapore (+14.5%), and India (+19.0%), with double digit annual growth from all those markets,” Mr Morrison said.
“This reinforces the importance of ensuring Australia remains ahead of the curve in providing access to airlines serving key international markets.
“November also saw 10.8 per cent growth in arrivals from the UK as cricket fans made their way to Australia for the Ashes tour, helping push annual arrivals growth from the UK to 4.5 per cent – its highest level since March 2007.
“The easing of the Australian dollar should also help boost spending by international visitors, as they find their money goes further.
“Notable this month was a 9.4 per cent fall in arrivals China, as inbound operators adjust to recently implemented reformsi which will improve the visitor experience for Chinese travellers.
“We see this as a case of short-term pain for mid-term gain, with the reforms aimed at ensuring Chinese visitors have a quality tourism experience that still represents good value and that they return home sharing their positive stories of Australia.
“Despite the monthly fall, Chinese arrivals are up 15.2 per cent for the year and we are confident Chinese visitors will respond positively to the changes and we will again see monthly growth from this critical source market.”
Mr Morrison said while the overall outlook is positive, more can be done to accelerate the growth.
“Tourism has been identified as a super-growth sector which can deliver economic prosperity to Australia over the coming decades, helping to drive economic activity across the country as the mining investment boom subsides,” Mr Morrison said.
“Capitalising on the potential of this opportunity will help tourism fulfil its potential as an economic development strategy for Australia, providing jobs and business opportunities across the country.
“Continuing to improve our visa application processes and continuing federal government support of Tourism Australia and the Asia Marketing Fund can both ensure Australia remains a competitive and compelling destination.”
Tags: Tourism News