Tourism booming as records tumble

2 December, 2015

Results from Tourism Research Australia's International Visitor Survey, released today, show continuing growth with further record international arrivals, visitor nights and spending figures.

The report reveals spending reached a new high of $34.8 billion, an increase of 13 per cent or
$4.1 billion over the year, which is the strongest growth seen since 2001.

International visitor arrivals increased 7 per cent to 6.7 million* while nights were up 10 per cent, reaching 242 million during the year ending September 2015.

The Government's efforts to boost flight capacity, our visa reforms and focused international marketing are increasing Australia's appeal in the growing global tourism market.

We have also made tourism infrastructure one of five National Investment Priorities, backing the growth of a key industry which supports around a million jobs.

Australia's strong international education sector is clearly having a positive impact on our tourism industry; with every international student in Australia attracting visits from friends and family.

Visiting Australia for the purposes of education is supporting strong growth, with visitation up 19 per cent and nights up 18 per cent. Total trip spend for education visitors increased by 27 per cent for the year to $8.2 billion, which drove 43 per cent of the overall increase.

With approximately 600,000 international students currently enrolled onshore, and growing, that adds up to a significant contribution.

The figures show growth in spending spread across the following visitor categories:

  • Education visitor spending: up 27 per cent to $8.2 billion
  • Employment visitor spending: up 26 per cent to $2.8 billion
  • Visiting friends and relatives spending: up 14 per cent to $5.8 billion
  • Holiday visitor spending: up 7 per cent to $13.2 billion

China continues to lead the growth with huge increases; visitor numbers are up 22 per cent to 896,000, nights up 25 per cent to 39.3 million and spend up a huge 43 per cent to $7.7 billion.

There was record spending by visitors from 10 of Australia's top-20 markets: New Zealand, China, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, France and Switzerland.

The Cricket World Cup also paid dividends this year with arrivals from India increasing 20 per cent to 213,000, nights up 35 per cent to 13.4 million and spend growing 34 per cent to $1.1 billion.

A further eight markets had record visitor arrivals during the year, including New Zealand (up 5 per cent to 1.2 million), the US (up 8 per cent to 551,000) and Singapore (up 4 per cent to 334,000).

The full report can be viewed at the Tourism Research Australia website.

*Aged 15 years or more

151202 Colbeck Media Release - Tourism booming as records tumble
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