TTF Director of Aviation Policy, Justin Wastnage, said arrivals rose from most of our key markets.
“After falling in July and August, arrivals from New Zealand have rebounded strongly, increasing by 16.8 per cent this September compared with 2011,” he said.
“Arrivals from China grew 26.5 per cent and it is very encouraging to see a 13.1 per cent rise in arrivals from the United States and 6.6 per cent growth from Japan.
“This underlines the fact that Australia is a desirable and aspirational destination for tourists from around the world.
“It is also a strong demonstration of the contribution the tourism industry can make to the national economy.
“Tourists spend $260 million every day, supporting the direct and indirect employment of more than 900,000 Australians – four times more than the mining sector.
“Each Australian household would pay $500 more in tax each year without the contribution from the tourism industry,” he said.
Wastnage said the Asian Century presents significant opportunities for the tourism sector.
“The growth in tourists from Asian countries is critical to Australia reaching the Tourism 2020 target of doubling overnight tourist expenditure to $140 billion by 2020,” he said
“It’s essential we open up the channels to facilitate the growth in Asian visitor arrivals, including through the expansion of the working holiday maker scheme to more Asian countries and through lifting the existing caps for countries already eligible for working holiday visas.
“Getting more first-time Asian visitors to Australia is crucial to encouraging the repeat visitation the tourism industry needs to grow yield in the visitor economy and to reach the Tourism 2020 target.
“We also need to continue to improve the alignment between Tourism Australia’s marketing activities and expansion in China and other Australian agencies internationally.”