More Australians Travelling Overseas, as China Tourism Boom Continues

The international departure gates were busy over the past year, with more tourists travelling to and from Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released overseas arrival and departure figures for November, providing an insight into where Australians are heading on holiday and who is making the journey Down Under from overseas.

A total of 10.5 million Australians returned from short stays overseas across the year to the end of November — 6.9 per cent more than the previous year.

New Zealand topped the list of destinations, with more than 1.4 million Australian tourists heading across the ditch.

Most popular destinations

  1. New Zealand
  2. Indonesia
  3. US
  4. UK
  5. Thailand
  6. China
  7. Singapore
  8. Japan
  9. India
  10. Fiji

Source: ABS seasonally-adjusted figures, year to November 2017

Indonesia remained popular with 1.2 million people making the trip, but that is down nearly 3 per cent compared to the number over the previous 12 months.

Bali’s airports experienced chaos late in 2017, with Australian travellers among the hundreds of thousands of passengers whose flights were disrupted as active volcano Mount Agung spewed ash.

Australians heading to China increased by nearly 17 per cent, while the number visiting Japan increased by a healthy 13.5 per cent.

Some destinations further afield experienced rapid growth, with the number of Australians travelling to Croatia leaping more than 50 per cent over the period.

Chinese tourists continue to holiday Down Under

Chinese tourists on a Cairns reef cruise.

Over the year, Chinese tourists made up the majority of those heading to Australia for a holiday.

The number of Chinese visitors rose 12.7 per cent over the 12 months through November, hitting 1.37 million, ahead of New Zealand.

In total, 8.8 million visitors headed to Australia over the year.

Where are tourists coming from?

  1. China
  2. New Zealand
  3. United States
  4. UK
  5. Singapore
  6. Japan
  7. Malaysia
  8. South Korea
  9. India
  10. Hong Kong

Source: ABS seasonally-adjusted figures, year to November 2017

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan was pleased by the uptick.

“This is another solid set of numbers, with strong growth from both eastern and western markets,” he told the ABC.

“Everybody talks about China, and for good reason, but it’s worth noting the equally impressive numbers coming out of the United States.”

Tourist dollar a boon for business

Businesses that rely on the tourist dollar to drive them are “well supported” in the current climate, according to CommSec chief economist Craig James.

“For airlines, airports, accommodation and other travel-related businesses, the business environment remains favourable,” he wrote.

Mr O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia would be looking to capitalise on the boost the industry is getting from cheap flights.

“This is a market benefitting from strong aviation capacity and competitive airfares, and will certainly be a big focus for us in 2018,” he said.

Source