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Record 6.4 million visitors to Australia spend $31 billion in 2014

Record 6.4 million visitors to Australia spend $31 billion in 2014
June 22, 2015

‘Leisure travel’ has been identified as the main and ongoing driving force behind the record 6.4 million international arrivals into Australia last year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia (TRA).

The newly released International Visitor Survey shows that for the year ending December 2014, international visitor numbers increased 8% to a record 6.4 million visitors over the ages of 15, and that total trip expenditure rose 7% to a new high of $31.1 billion.

The Survey also showed that leisure travel dominated growth in visitors, with holiday arrivals increasing 8% to 2.9 million, and those visiting friends and relatives up 10% to 1.8 million.

2014 also saw 14 of Australia’s top 20 markets reporting record arrivals with arrivals from Asian markets growing strongly, with increases in visitors and their total trip spend (both up 11%).

Four of the top five markets saw record visitation, with visitor numbers from China up 18% to 784,000 and trip spend up 19% to $5.7 billion. China now accounts for 18% of total trip spend.

Visitation from the USA continued at record levels, with visitors up 11% to 523,000 and trip spend up 9% to $2.8 billion. Visitor numbers from Singapore increased 10% to 325,000 and trip spend increased 9% to $1.2 billion. New Zealand also saw strong growth, with visitors up 5% to 1.1 million and trip spend up 6% to $2.4 billion, however, UK visitors were down by 1% to 615,000.

Commenting on the findings, Tourism Research Australia’s Assistant General Manager, Spiro Kavadias stated “given the current record performance, coupled with the lower Australian dollar, our proximity to the growth markets of Asia, and continued economic recovery in Western markets, the outlook for inbound travel remains positive.

“With record international arrivals and strong growth in the investment pipeline, the tourism industry is in a good position to attain its Tourism 2020 goal of increasing overnight tourism expenditure to between $115 and $140 billion by 2020.”

The figures have been welcomed by Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Managing Director Peter Shelley who added “the strength of our export tourism industry is undeniable and, despite the delay in this data set, there has been no misstep in the strong growth for Australian tourism.

“We have now, well and truly, burst through the $30 billion expenditure mark and our international marketing efforts are paying off with significant growth in the leisure visitation, particularly from Asian markets.

“Our industry has placed itself in a strong position to fully realise the potential of a growing engagement with travel from Asian markets and we continue to be a highly prized destination for our traditional markets, particularly the United States and the UK.

“Australian tourism should be very proud, we have weathered a significant downturn from our traditional markets flowing from the GFC and are now seeing both a return of these markets along with strong engagement from new and developing markets of the east.

“These results give our governments, both State and Federal, an even greater impetus to be more focused on tourism’s success and to provide stronger supports for its continuing growth.”

Note: when children under the age of 15 travelling with families are factored into the figures, total arrivals to Australia in 2014 may well have exceeded 6.8 million visitors.

Click here to view the full report on the TRA website.





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