Asia underpinning strong growth in visitor numbers

The number of short-term visitors to Australia has increased by 6.6 per cent over the past year, underpinned by continued strong growth from Asia, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond said today.

“Asian countries now account for six out of the top ten fastest-growing major tourism markets over the past year,” Ms Osmond said.

“In the year to June 2015, more than 7 million visitors came to Australia – an increase of 6.6 per cent.

“Chinese arrivals reached 935,000 over the year to June, up 15,000 on the comparable number for May.

“At this rate we are on track to reach one million Chinese visitors sometime this year.

“Of all our major visitor nations, India has been growing the fastest in annual terms for the first half of the year, with average annualised growth of 21.1 per cent.

“While we did see a lift in the number of Chinese and Indian visitors over Chinese New Year and the ICC Cricket World Cup, we are still seeing strong growth once these events have finished.

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

“Further, the RBA’s statement on monetary policy has today confirmed the Chinese and Indian economies continue to grow around seven per cent per annum, providing great conditions for their citizens to continue travelling abroad.

“With the Australian dollar down around 11 per cent over the previous financial year, we can expect to see more visitors taking advantage of the favourable currency movements.

“However, for industry to continue seeing the benefits of this growth, our governments need to look past the short-term 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.