08 May 2013

International Australian tourism growth outstrips domestic visitors

The number of international visitors coming to Australia is outgrowing domestic tourism for the first time since 2003, a recent report has revealed.

Australia visa

International visitor growth to Australia is on the rise.

The Australian tourism industry has been growing healthily in recent years but due to the strong Australian Dollar and a poor economy in most other parts of the world, it has relied on Australians to take up the slack.

The most recent ABS Overseas Arrivals and Departure report released in March supports this trend, with 8.3 million Australians travelling the country for tourism purposes and 6.2 million visitors coming from abroad. However, the report shows international tourism numbers growing at 4.9% a year, compared to 4.3% a year for domestic tourists, the first time international growth has surpassed domestic growth in a decade.

Trent Zimmerman, acting chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said the figures show Australia has a growing reputation among many countries.

"While some of the growth in March may be attributable to the timing of Easter, we have seen increased monthly arrivals from 16 of Australia's top 20 source markets, including double digit growth from 10 countries," he said.

The country on country report shows an increase in almost all countries except Indonesia with China, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan each showing an increase of at least 10%.

"It shows that despite challenging global economic conditions and the persistently strong Australian dollar, Australia remains an attractive destination for travellers from around the world."

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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