Increasing visitor numbers from Asian markets, fuelled by higher aviation capacity, have pushed annual international tourist arrivals to Australia up by 5.4 per cent, according to peak national industry body Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) analysis of new data.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has today released the Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for October, showing international arrivals up 5.5 per cent for the month and 5.4 per cent (328,400 people) for the 12 months to the end of October.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said Asia presents a massive opportunity for Australia.
“Increased Asian visitation accounts for 69 per cent of the overall rise in international tourist arrivals, with China alone accounting for a third of that growth,” Morrison said.
“These figures come just a day after research showing Asian visitor spending is now more than $10 billion a year.
“Singapore, Malaysia, India and Taiwan are all growing at double-digit rates annually, with visitor numbers from Asia as a whole up 8.8 per cent for the year, compared to 5.4 per cent overall.
“Increasing aviation capacity is a factor, with more flights allowing more people to come and effective marketing campaigns promoting Australia as a must-see destination.
“While the growth is good, we can do more to capitalise on the potential of this opportunity and help tourism fulfil its potential as an economic development strategy for Australia, providing jobs and business opportunities across the country.
“Tourism has been identified as a super-growth sector which can deliver economic prosperity to Australia over the coming decades, helping to drive economic activity across the country as the mining investment boom subsides.
“Continuing to improve our visa application processes and continuing federal government support of Tourism Australia and the Asia Marketing Fund can both ensure Australia remains a competitive and compelling destination.
“Opening up working holiday maker visas to our key growth markets of China, India and Vietnam, and lifting the cap for applicants from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand can help in this regard as we seek to further broaden our engagement with Asia,” he said.