Arrivals up but the China boom is waning

Data from the ABS for short term arrivals and departures in January show that, while total arrivals grew 2.2% (seasonally adjusted) from a year ago, the number coming from China is in decline. The seasonally adjusted data can be very volatile when considering the small data set of Chinese arrivals, so we much prefer the Trend series (for the record, the seasonally adjusted data shows Chinese arrivals down 9.1% from year ago). The Trend shows a 4th consecutive month of declines with the number in January 12.5% above a year ago at 71,100. Although this is still healthy growth over the year the rapid slowdown (and recent reversal) in numbers should be cause for some concern in the industry. As recently as 5 months ago Chinese Trend arrivals were growing at an annual rate of about 23%.

Short term departures also continue to rise  and are up 3.3% from a year ago.

UPDATE: I was interviewed by Keir Shorey on ABC Far North on this subject today. You can listen here…

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2 replies
  1. Mark Beath
    Mark Beath says:

    Something to watch. May also be interesting to see how well the ABS seasonal adjustment for the lunar Chinese New Year works out over coming months given how large that is. The late New Year pushed reported Chinese traffic through Sydney Airport into March although that was mostly attributed to departures.

    Reply

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