Australia see more short term visitors despite global economic challenges

by Ray Clancy on January 6, 2012

in Australia Travel

Australia a popular destination for short term arrivals from China and South east Asia

Australia has seen an increase in short term visitors despite global economic uncertainty and a series of natural disasters, the latest figures show.

The Australian tourism industry experienced moderate economic growth in 2010/11, with tourism contributing the equivalent of $94.8 million a day to the Australian economy, according to the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Despite a year of global economic challenges and natural disasters, tourism growth was supported by increased consumption by international visitors, up 4.4% over the previous year.

This was largely due to an increase in the number of visitors from overseas, up 3.8%, while average consumption per visitor stayed relatively stable, up 0.6%, the figures also show.

Last financial year saw a record number of overseas arrivals in the financial year, with 5.9 million short term visitor arrivals to Australia, up approximately 214,500 visitors on the previous year or 588 extra visitors a day.

The increase was led by gains from China, New Zealand and Malaysia. China and South east Asia accounted for close to one in four short term overseas arrivals in 2010/11, up from one in six only five years ago.

On the back of a strong Australian dollar, 2010/11 also saw a record 7.4 million short term resident departures from Australia, an increase of 9.9% from 2009/10, or 1,842 additional resident departures a day.

Departures to nine of Australia’s top ten destinations increased. This was led by Indonesia, up 23.5%, and the United States, up 18.3%.

Domestic tourism consumption grew at less than half of the pace of international consumption in 2010/11 and was up 2.1% compared to 4.4%.

In 2010/11, 43.7% of people employed in the tourism industry were part time employees. This compares with 29.4% nationally, with only four other industries having a higher share of total part time employed persons in 2010/11. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services accounted for more than one in three tourism part time employed workers.

Tourism employed 513,700 people in total throughout Australia in the last financial year, up 13,500 on 2009/10 and contributed 8% of Australia’s total export earnings in 2010/11.

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