International arrivals in Australia increased by almost 5% in 2012

by Ray Clancy on February 6, 2013

in Australia Immigration

International arrivals in Australia increased by almost 5% in 2012

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of people visiting Australia increased by 4.6% last year to 6.1 million with China and India breaking all previous records. New Zealand remains the biggest source of visitors with 1.2 million trips in 2012 but China is now in second place followed by the UK, the United States and Japan.

Indeed, the figures show that in the last 10 years, people from China and India more than tripled their visits to Australia. China went from 190,000 visits in 2002 to 630,000 in 2012, and India from 45,000 to 160,000. Other countries in Australia’s top ten visitors list include Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong, meaning Asian countries now cover seven of the top ten source countries for short term visits to Australia.

‘Despite a high Australian dollar, Australia’s short term visitor numbers were up by nearly 5% since 2011. The top five countries alone provided more than half of last year’s overseas visitors, and there were an extra 85,000 visits from China, an increase of 16%,’ said ABS assistant director of demography, Neil Scott. He pointed out that the next largest increase in visitor numbers came from Malaysia, with a 9% increase and New South Wales remained the most popular destination with a record 2.3 million overseas visitors in 2012. This equates to more than one third of all short term visitor arrivals to Australia. This was followed by Queensland at a quarter and Victoria with just over a fifth.

More than two thirds, or about 4.3 million overseas visitors, arrived for holidays or to see friends and family, and the peak age group for short term visitors was 25 to 29 year olds. The average amount of time people spent in Australia was 11 days, which has been constant over the last 10 years.

Quote from : “Hi me and my partner (un-married) are looking at going over to Australia to experience the country and its lifestyle but also to work to fund the finance of it. We are looking to come for between 3-6 months and are enquiring about how difficult it is to find a job (of any kind) and what sort of areas of work are in demand??”

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said that it was a very creditable performance, against the backdrop of a fiercely competitive global tourism marketplace, a persistently high dollar and economic stagnation in a number of Australia’s key traditional source markets. ‘In many ways, 2012 was a year of transition for our industry, as we continue to adapt to the Asian Century and the enormous opportunities provided by the region’s fast emerging and increasingly mobile middle classes,’ he explained.

‘What’s remarkable about the 2012 arrivals figures is the fact that eight of our top ten inbound international markets now originate from within the Asian Pacific Rim. We mustn’t underestimate the importance of these other Asian markets, like India, Malaysia, Singapore and, in time, Vietnam. And there are strong growth opportunities beyond Asia too, South America being an obvious example,’ he added.

He also said that industries must not forget the traditional western markets. ‘After a few difficult years, the US market is showing signs of recovery, up 4% in 2012. We’ve not seen growth at these levels since the heydays of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Difficult economies have dampened performance out of the UK and Western Europe, but as their economies recover I think you’ll start to see the Europeans return in better numbers. And we have two great kickers this year, with the British and Irish Lions tour starting in June and an Ashes tour on the horizon,’ he pointed out.

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