China set to become source of biggest number of visitors to Australia

by Ray Clancy on November 4, 2015

in Australia Travel

Arrivals from Asian markets, particularly China and India, are likely to drive growth in Australia’s tourism market in the coming year, but more people are also expected from the US and the UK.

Overall forecasts for Australia’s key tourism markets are for growth above the global growth trend in the next two years, according to the annual report from Tourism Research Australia, with the country remaining popular with visitors from all over the world.

Plane-AustraliaInbound visitor arrivals are forecast to increase 5.9% to 7.5 million in 2015/2016, and by a further 5.6% to 7.9 million in 2016/2017, while the 10-year average growth rate is forecast at 4.1% with arrivals expected to reach 10.6 million by 2024/2025.

The report says that the industry experienced stronger than expected performance in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 with the lower value of the Australian dollar helping along with an improved economic outlook for some key source markets, including the US, New Zealand and the UK.

Asian markets are expected to drive growth between now and 2017, led by China with growth of 15.5% in 2015/2016 and 12% in 2016/2017, then India with growth of 11.1% and 8.5% and South Korea with growth of 6.7% and 5.3%.

Overall, Australia’s top five inbound markets of New Zealand, China, the UK, the US and Singapore are expected to provide 59% of the additional 3.5 million arrivals over the 10 years to 2024/2025. China is alone expected to contribute 29% of the growth in arrivals over the forecast period and to overtake New Zealand as Australia’s largest international market by arrivals in 2019/2020.

The momentum of international leisure travel to Australia is forecast to continue over the next two years. Holiday travel is forecast to increase by 5.6% in 2015/2016 and 6.3% in 2016/2017. Travel to visit friends and relatives is also expected to experience solid growth, up 5.6% in 2015/2016 and 5.3% in 2016/2017. Modest growth in business travel is forecast of 2.5% and 3.7%.

Minister for Tourism and International Education, Richard Colbeck, said that the forecast shows that the tourism industry is on track to reach the 2020 target of increasing overnight expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion.

“It is great news for tourism employees, businesses and local communities. Tourism is already one of Australia’s largest exports and a major pillar of our economy and the forecasts I have released show the sector will continue to grow over the next decade,” said Colbeck. “Asian markets such as China and India are likely to drive growth in visitor arrivals in 2015/2016, however the forecasts reveal solid growth is expected from markets such as US, UK and New Zealand.

“It is pleasing to see these forecasts paint a positive picture of the future of tourism in Australia and this government remains focussed on embracing opportunities and continuing to grow our tourism sector.”

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