Australia’s overseas arrivals grew strongly throughout 2012, recording almost seven per cent growth in November 2012 to reach 6.1 million visitors in the 12 months to November 2012.

The latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures, released on January 14 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed that visitors from China grew by 14 per cent in November 2012, buoyed by the additional seat capacity created from the introduction of direct flights from Shanghai to Cairns.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson, said the increased capacity was evidence of the strength of the Australian market.

“The increase in arrivals will assist industry meet the Tourism 2020 goal of $140 billion in overnight expenditure,” Minister Ferguson said.

“The Australian Government is working with the states and territories to reduce red tape and implement regulatory reform to assist in building the 40,000 new accommodation rooms that will be needed by 2020.

“The recent Investment and Regulatory Reform Report Card showed progress in this area in the last twelve months.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that arrivals from Japan and USA increased ten per cent and nine per cent during November 2012 respectively.

Visitors from Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia all recorded very strong growth, up 35 per cent, 13 per cent and 12 per cent respectively during November 2012.

Arrivals from Europe showed signs of improvement with those from the United Kingdom up three per cent, France 16 per cent and Germany ten per cent during November 2012.

Outbound departures increased 8 per cent during November 2012 to be up 5 per cent for the period January to November 2012.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management