Record numbers of travelers visit Australia, latest survey shows

by Ray Clancy on December 4, 2014

in Australia Travel

Australia is still proving popular with overseas visitors with figures showing that international arrivals were up by 8% to a record 6.3 million in the year ending in September.

The latest International Visitor Survey from Tourism Research Australia also shows that 15 of Australia’s 20 leading inbound markets contributed record visitor arrivals.

During the 12-month period, international visitors stayed 221 million nights and spent a record $30.7 billion

During the 12-month period, international visitors stayed 221 million nights and spent a record $30.7 billion, or $139 per night each.

Holiday arrivals increased 9% to 2.8 million, with spending up 11% to $12.3 billion. Those visiting friends and relatives were up 14% to 1.7 million, with spending up 18% to $5.1 billion.

The Chinese spent $5.4 billion, an increase of 16%, while visitors from the United States spent $2.7 million, a rise of 7% and those from New Zealand spent $2.4 billion, an increase of 4%.

‘The continued record performance of inbound tourism is positive news for the Australian economy and tourism businesses across the nation’ said Tourism Research Australia’s assistant general manager Tim Quinn.

‘It is very encouraging to see such strength in leisure travel, and to see the strong growth in travel to Australia that Asian markets have experienced in recent years now extending to inbound markets such as New Zealand, North America and Europe,’ he pointed out.

Survey results also confirm the global trend towards use of personal devices to access the internet while travelling. Tablet and smart phone use increased 69% and 40%, respectively.

However, the use of public facilities, including internet cafes, internet kiosks and PCs at accommodation fell sharply, down 36%, 31%, and 25%, respectively.

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania all achieved record highs and international visitors to the ACT remained at high levels. But the report reveals that the Northern Territory has been affected by the economic downturn in the UK, its largest source market.

Also, Queensland numbers continue to be affected by the decline in the Japanese holiday market. In the year 2000, Japanese holiday visitors accounted for 27% of the international holiday market in Queensland whereas in the year ending September 2014 they represented just 9%.

The number of visitors travelling in a family group increased 20% to 760,000, while those travelling with friends and relatives increased 12% to 633,000.

Continued growth in leisure travel has resulted in increased participation in a number of trip activities during the year. The number of visitors who attended a national or state park increased 12% to 2.7 million, while 2.3 million visited botanical or other public gardens, an increase of 15%. Visitors to museums or art galleries increased 9% to 1.9 million, while visitors who went to an art workshop or studio increased 8% to 427,000.

There was an increase in active outdoor activities, with scuba diving up 13% to 280,000, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking increasing 9% to 336,000, surfing up 8% to 305,000 and snorkelling up 5% to 589,000 during the year.

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