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International visitor spending hits an all-time high

29 July 2015

International visitors to Australia aged 15 years and over spent a record breaking $32.5 billion for the 12 months ending March 2015, up 10 per cent off the back of an 8 per cent increase in arrivals and 7 per cent growth in visitor nights.

Leisure travel was the highest earning sector for visitor spend, up 9 per cent for the 12 months, and China was the highest value inbound market up 25 per cent to $6.4 billion.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said the double digit increase in international spending was impressive, boosted by strong distribution and aviation partnerships and, most recently, by Chinese New Year and the staging of two of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

“The 32 per cent increase this quarter in Chinese spending is unprecedented and testament, I think, to our strategy of moving away from group tour business towards the much more lucrative free and independent travel segment.”

Mr O’Sullivan said the spending figures also demonstrated the positive impact that large scale events had on the visitor economy, in a period which saw Australia host the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and 2015 Cricket World Cup.

“Who can forget those Indian cricket fans packing out our cricket grounds during the Cricket World Cup? They may not have won the world cup, but they certainly won the hearts of many of our tourism operators, with holiday spending from India up 125 per cent in the quarter,” he said.

View the latest IVS results.

About the International Visitor Survey

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.