Overseas visitor numbers continue to rise in Australia

by Ray Clancy on December 30, 2013

in Australia, Australia Travel, General Information

The popularity of Australia as a destination for overseas visitors is continuing to grow and the amount they contribute to the country’s economy is also rising, the latest official figures show.

Those arriving with a working holiday visa often end up falling in love with the country and seeking a permanent job while those studying in the country also have visa options to stay on to find work.

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Tourism contributed over $115 million a day to the Australian economy and outpaced the growth of industries such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing

Tourism contributed over $115 million a day to the Australian economy and outpaced the growth of industries such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS.)

‘Tourism GDP grew 3.7% during 2012/2013, compared to 2.4% for the economy as a whole,’ said Sean Thompson from the ABS.

International tourism was particularly solid, up 5.7% and showed the strongest growth since 2006/2007, the data also shows, due mainly to strong growth in the number of international visitors which increased by 4.9%.

The average spend in Australia on international trips was largely unchanged on the previous year at approximately $4,300 per trip.

However, despite the continuing record numbers of Australians travelling overseas, Australian tourists’ consumption on overseas trips fell slightly in 2012/2013, down over $200 per trip from 2011/2012 to just over $4,540.

Domestic tourism, although not quite as strong, was up 3.4% in 2012/2013. Household visitor’s consumption was up by 4.7%, while consumption by business and government visitors fell by 2.6%.

The data shows that overall, tourism employed 543,600 people throughout Australia in the last financial year, with employment in the tourism industry growing at nearly double the rate for the economy as a whole at 2.1% compared with 1.2% for the whole of the economy.

Tourism accounted for 4.7% of total employed persons in 2012/2013 and tourism also contributed 8.9% of Australia’s total export earnings in 2012/2013.

The data includes tourism hours worked indices by tourism related industries, for the first time. The indices measure changes in the hours worked in tourism from year to year. In 2012/2013, tourism hours worked was up by 1% from the previous year, compared with a 0.4% increase in hours worked across the whole of the economy.

The characteristics of the labour force are such that the tourism industry accounts for a larger share of part-time employees at 7.2% and female workers at 5.5%.

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