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Number of international visitors to Australia hits record high

Number of international visitors to Australia hits record high
April 2, 2019

The number of international tourists who chose Australia as their holiday destination hit a record high last year, reaching 8.5 million, according to the latest International Visitor Survey results from Tourism Research Australia.

Released at the weekend, the International Visitor Survey (IVS) for the year ending December 2018 showed that overseas tourists pumped in a total of $44 billion Australian into the economy.

Welcoming the findings, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham stated “in the last year we have seen, what is equivalent to, an extra 1,000 jumbos arrive in our airports, full of tourists from around the globe, keen to experience an Australian holiday.”

China continues to be the top market, with 1.3 million visitors spending $11.7 billion, increases of 5% and 13% respectively.

Commenting on this growth, Minister Birmingham stated “within the Chinese market ... we are also seeing a noticeable shift towards free and independent travellers (FIT), who are more likely to stay longer, spend more and disperse more widely across regional Australia.”

Minister Birmingham added that Asia presents an enormous tourism opportunity for Australia thanks to the region's huge emerging middle class, ever improving aviation capacity and increasingly competitive airfares.

He added with one in 13 Australians already employed in the tourism industry, these strong results could help to further strengthen the economy and create more jobs for Australians.

Among Australian states, international visitor expenditure in Victoria was a record $8.5 billion, up 12.9% year on year and well above the national average growth rate of 8%.

The IVS showed Victoria welcomed three million international visitors, up by 5.4%, above the national average growth rate of 4.8% and beating key competitors NSW (up 3%) and Queensland (up 2.3%).

Visitor nights in Victoria increased at a double-digit pace of 11.2% to reach 72.9 million nights, almost triple the national average of 3.8% and again ahead of Queensland (up 3.7%) and New South Wales (up 2.4%).

Victoria’s international expenditure was largely driven by Asian markets, with strong double-digit growth recorded from India, China, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Notably, visitor spending in Victoria was up 44.3% in the Indian market, to $543 million and Chinese visitors spent an extra 23.9%, taking Chinese expenditure to $3.3 billion.

Images: Australia's unique flora is a fascination for Asian visitors (top) and Chinese visitors at Victoria's 12 Apostles (below).

Related Articles

2nd April 2019 - New attractions needed to continue growth in overseas visitors to Western Australia

30th March 2019 - Tourism Association outlines government expenditure needed for industry growth 

2nd March 2019 - Industry welcomes commitment to the Quality Tourism Framework

10th January 2019 - Queensland experiences strong growth in domestic and international visitors

9th January 2019 - Victoria’s visitor statistics hit new highs

27th September 2018 - Visitor numbers and tourist spending increase while length of stays stalls

4th September 2018 - Expanding Australia’s High Net Worth appeal a positive for tourism

13th August 2018 - Tourism Research Australia partners with Angus & Associates to monitor tourism’s social licence

28th July 2018 - ATEC sees continued need to keep getting inbound tourism right

20th July 2018 - Latest tourism figures show challenges for Western Australia

19th July 2018 - International Visitor Survey shows record high for Australian tourism

2nd February 2018 - TRA releases updated tourism profiles for more than 200 local government areas

15th March 2017 - Asian markets drive surge in Australia’s international visitor arrivals

15th February 2017 - Strengthening Australia’s tourism relationship with China

8th December 2016 - Australia’s tourism export growth continues as markets shift

16th January 2016 - Asian travellers seek new experiences

30th March 2013 - Delivering higher quality experiences for Chinese Visitors


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