Annual visitor numbers strong despite slight fall in July

The number of short-term visitors to Australia fell marginally in July (down 0.1 per cent), but in annual terms continues to reach new heights, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond said today.

“Visitors from our Asian neighbours continue to dominate international short-term arrivals, with seven Asian nations in the top ten fastest-growing major tourism markets,” Ms Osmond said.

“Well over 7 million short-term visitors came to Australia over the year to July – an increase of 6.3 per cent.

“Australia welcomed 942,500 Chinese visitors over the year to July and with this market currently growing at around 20 per cent annually we expect to reach one million Chinese visitors before the year ends.

“India remained our fastest growing major market in annual terms, with average annualised growth of 18.3 per cent.

“This is a strong reflection of the wonderful work that Australia’s airports and airlines, tourism operators and organisations, as well as accommodation providers and hospitality industry are doing to attract and welcome international visitors.

“With the Australian dollar down around 14 per cent over the same period, we can expect to see more international visitors taking advantage of the favourable currency movements.

“However, for Australia to reap the full benefits of this positive outcome and to significantly grow jobs and investment in the sector, governments need to take the hand-brake off the industry and enact reforms to encourage sustainable growth in the visitor economy.

“This includes visa reform, removing unnecessary taxes and charges on tourists and an investment in critical and demand-driven infrastructure,” she said.