Double Digit Tourism Growth for Australia & New Zealand

Tourism expenditure up 13% in Australia – Chinese inbound up 22%

As the two main tourism markets in Oceania, Australia & New Zealand are indicative of general trends in the region. In 2016, the trend overall has been extremely positive.

There were 971,800 visitor arrivals to Australia during December, an increase of 8.1% relative to the same period of the previous year. This brings the total to 8.26 million visitor arrivals for year ending December 2016, an increase of 11% relative to the previous year and represents an extra 819,000 visitors on the previous year. Leisure arrivals (Holiday + VFR) continued to drive international arrivals growth, with an increase of 13.7%% over the 12-month period. Arrivals for the purpose of employment is showing signs of softening for the same period.

Meanwhile in the “International Tourism Snapshot” to 30th September published by Tourism Australia, International arrivals and spending were both at record levels. Visitors injected $38.8 billion into the Australian economy over the 12 months. Total international aviation capacity to Australia also grew by 9% year-on-year. These strong gains in international tourism will help Australia continue to move towards attaining the lower bound of its Tourism 2020 growth target ($115 billion per year) for overnight visitor expenditure by the end of the decade. With international visitors set to increase their share of spend from 31% of total spend in 2014–15 to 41% in 2024–25, and domestic overnight visitor spend continuing to grow, but at a moderate pace, total overnight expenditure is forecast to reach $127 billion in nominal terms by 2019–20 All of Australia’s top 15 key international markets posted growth in 2016, with nine markets recording double digit increases.

“The record results confirm the strength of Australia’s tourism industry and desirability of our tourism offering internationally,” said Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan.

“It is terrific to see that alongside our key markets in Asia such as China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, India, Singapore and Indonesia, that the USA also posted a double digit increase in visitors in 2016,” he said.

In the 12 months to December 2016, arrivals from China, Japan and South Korea grew by 16.9%, 22.7% and 23.7% respectively. Other markets to post double digit growth in visitor numbers for the year included the USA (16.4%), Malaysia (14.3%), India (11.3%), Indonesia (13.8%) and Singapore (10.7%). New Zealand remains Australia’s largest market by visitor arrivals, also delivered a 2.7 per cent increase to reach 1.3 million visitors in 2016.

Growth in visitor numbers to Australia was driven by the leisure segment (+13.7%), in particular by holiday arrivals (+21.6%) across the 12 months.