Chinese visitors push Australia’s visitor spend to record levels
According to the latest International Visitor Survey, the Chinese market continues to record breaking growth with 1.1 million Chinese tourists spending $9.1 billion (up 18 per cent) and staying a collective 43.2 million nights (up 10 per cent).
International visitor spending grew by $4 billion over the past 12 months with four markets of China (35 per cent), USA (16 per cent), Korea (10 per cent) and Japan (7 per cent) contributing a collective 68 per cent of the growth.
The news was welcomed by the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF), but said that this is only scratching the surface of the visitor economy’s full potential to deliver jobs and economic growth for Australia.
“I can’t think of a better early Christmas present that some fantastic growth numbers for the visitor economy and with the right partnership between government and industry this should only be the beginning,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Tourism is a super growth sector for the Australian economy, but we do need a positive economic strategy for the sector that seizes the massive growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, while working to meet the challenges of the supporting infrastructure and workforce skills we need to take full advantage of it.
“We need the Federal Government to stop looking at the tourism industry as a ‘cash cow’ for fees and charges to be continually ramped up over successive budgets and work with industry on an investment strategy that grows the sector.”
NSW continues to dominate the rest of Australia in attracting international visitors with more than 20 per cent more arrivals from key markets including China, the USA and South Korea, contributing $9.3 billion in visitor expenditure to the overall economy.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the number of international tourists arriving in a single year is nearing the population of Sydney, with this unprecedented growth showing no sign of slowing down in 2017.
“Today’s International Visitor Survey results highlight NSW is exactly where our international guests want their heads to hit beds, with 3.8 million internationals staying 87.1 million nights, representing a 16 per cent increase in the tourist dollar spent year on year,” Ayres said.
Brisbane also saw record highs across visitor numbers and expenditure, with 83,000 more international visitors choosing Brisbane in the past year compared to 2015, a 9.6 per cent increase.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said these record results across all tourism categories was testament to the city’s growth.
“We expect international visitor numbers will continue to grow in the near future as Brisbane plays host to a number of major events, world-class conventions, enhanced airline connections and accommodation incentives,” Quirk said.