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International visitor spend in Australia hits new $31.1 billion high

23 June 2015

Australia is enjoying record growth in international arrivals and spending, with international visitor spending rising by 7 per cent in 2014 on the back of a big increase in the number of Chinese tourists and a strong performance from the United States.

Results from the latest International Visitor Survey released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) on 21 June show that for the 12 months ending December 2014 international visitor arrivals increased 8 per cent to a record 6.4 million and total international visitor spend rose to a new high of $31.1 billion.

Leisure travel dominated growth in visitors, with holiday arrivals increasing 8 per cent to 2.9 million.

Markets across both East and West enjoyed growth during the period with four of Australia’s top five markets showing record visitation.

Visitor numbers for China – Australia’s second largest market for arrivals after New Zealand – rose by 18 per cent to 784,000. Spending by Chinese visitors rose by 19 per cent to $5.7 billion, accounting for 18 per cent of all international visitor spending.

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

Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said the data reinforced just how well the tourism industry was performing.

"The latest figures round off what was a record-breaking 2014, both in terms of international arrivals and the money they inject into our visitor economy," he said. "It's important now that we take forward this momentum into the rest of 2015, and beyond to 2020," Mr O’Sullivan said.

Download the latest IVS report from TRA.