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Double-digit growth in international visitor spending Down Under


1 June 2016

International visitor spending continues to register record growth reaching $38 billion for the 12 months to the end of March this year, up 17 per cent or $5.4 billion over the period according to the latest International Visitor Survey conducted by Tourism Research Australia.

Positive results were seen across most of Tourism Australia’s key target markets with Chinese visitor spend reaching $8.9 billion, up 38 per cent year on year and Japan showing a clear turnaround with spend now up 10 per cent over the past 12 months.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said the latest data represented another quarter of double-digit growth in international spending, with positive results across most of Australia’s key inbound markets.

“With another strong quarterly performance, international spending has now risen an impressive 17 per cent over the past 12 months to a record high of $38 billion. The quarterly figures are particularly pleasing when you consider the same period last year was boosted by Australia's successful hosting of the Cricket World Cup,” said Mr O’Sullivan.

“What these annual numbers show is that for every international visitor we attract to Australia, our visitor economy is benefitting to the tune of around $5,000. With international spending now growing at more than twice the rate of visitor arrivals, we are really starting to see the economic benefits of pursuing a high yield tourism strategy.”

Mr O’Sullivan added that the turnaround in Japan’s fortunes continued, with the market responding very positively to recent aviation capacity increases and associated marketing activities.

The International Visitor Survey is published quarterly by Tourism Research Australia and is the most comprehensive source of information on international visitors to Australia.

The survey samples 40,000 departing, short-term international travellers over the age of 15 years who have visited Australia. The survey is conducted by Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) in the departure lounges of eight major international airports: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Gold Coast. Participants are asked around 100 questions about their visit, including nights spent in Australia, travel arrangements, reasons for visit, places visited, activities undertaken, information sources and expenditure made during trip.

Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey, providing data on domestic tourism spend, is published on Wednesday 15 June.