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5 Jun, 2012

China Continues to Prop Up Growth in Arrivals to Australia


Canberra, 04 June 2012 (Australian government media release) — New figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show visitors to Australia grew by a slow 1% April 2012, compared to April 2011.

China provided most of this growth with a 34% increase in April 2012. It helped offset a 28% decline in arrivals from the UK. China is Australia’s third largest market in terms of arrivals and largest in terms of tourism exports.

Strong growth in visitor arrivals also occurred from South Korea (up 17 per cent). Arrivals from Japan also rose, increasing 16 per cent, showing that the market is improving following the March 2011 tsunami.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the continued growth in Asian tourism and business travel was offsetting declines in visitor arrivals from traditional markets.

“So far this year arrivals from China have increased 15 per cent, on top of the 52 per cent growth between 2008 and 2011. Over an extended period we have seen declines in traditional markets, such as the UK and Europe, however this has been balanced by consistent growth in Chinese visitors,” Minister Ferguson said.

Arrivals from the United States showed a solid increase of 8 per cent in April 2012 compared to April 2011 despite the sluggish US economic recovery and strong Australian dollar. Arrivals from the United Kingdom declined 29 per cent consistent with a weak economic environment.

“To encourage further growth, the Australian Government and Tourism Australia will invest more than $13 million this year marketing to China. We are also investing tens of million of dollars in T‑QUAL Grants projects to ensure continued improvement and innovation in our tourist attractions.”

The recent growth in Australians’ overseas travel slowed in April 2012, down 4 per cent in April 2012 after rising 10 per cent in the 2011 calendar year. While this was the first decline in thirteen months, strong growth remains evident for Australians travelling to leisure destinations such as Thailand, up 12 per cent for the month and 19 per cent for the calendar year to date.

While the Australian tourism industry has been impacted by a range of events in recent years, indications are that the $42 billion within the investment pipeline places it on track to accommodate expected demand. Further information on tourism investment is available at www.tourisminvestment.com.au

The Overseas Arrivals and Departures data are at www.abs.gov.au