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Tourism Australia releases quarterly update on sector performance

3 August 2015

Australia enjoyed ‘solid growth’ in inbound tourism for the year ending March 2015 with a double digit increase in international visitor spending to an all-time high of A$32.5bn and international visitor arrivals to Australia surpassing 7 million for the first time.

Tourism Australia’s latest ‘Quarterly Market Update’, which provides an overview of Australia’s key international visitor regions to March 2015, also shows that:

  • 14 of Australia’s top 20 markets had record arrivals to Australia for the year to March 2015;
  • International aviation capacity to Australia increased three per cent in the March 2015 quarter;
  • India moved up the ranks to become Australia’s eighth largest inbound market based on visitors and 11th largest market based on expenditure;
  • China overtook the UK as the number one market for leisure visitor expenditure (holiday and VFR) and the largest market for holiday visitor expenditure;
  • Expenditure from the USA reached almost $3 billion, up 14 per cent, in the year ending March 2015;

In addition, the report notes rising global consumer confidence levels, particularly in Japan which is experiencing its highest levels consumer confidence since 2005.

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.

Download a copy of Tourism Australia's latest 'Quarterly Market Update' to March 2015. Tourism Australia's next 'Quarterly Market Update' will be released in November 2015.

For more information on key inbound markets to Australia visit http://www.tourism.australia.com/markets.