The release today by Tourism Research Australia of their International Visitor Survey for the year to June 2015 confirms what has been clear to many in the region for a while; international tourism is looking really good.
Across the nation as a whole we see a 6.6% increase in international visitor numbers for the year to almost 6.6 million. Expenditure is also up strongly by 11.3% with the average expenditure per visitor up to $3,368, an increase of 4.5% (well ahead of inflation). The falling A$ is meaning that not only are more people coming here, but they’re spending more when they get here.
The numbers are better still for Queensland which saw an increase in visitors of 7.7% to over 2.2 million. Expenditure in the state was up 14.8% with the average expenditure per visitor up 6.6% to $2,056. These are very welcome figures and indicate that (finally) QLD might be getting some of its “mojo” back with regard to the international market. However, as the second chart below makes clear, the lose of market share witnessed in the past decade still has a long way to recover.
In TNQ visitors were up a stellar 9.8% on the year to 759,000; a level not seen since Sept 2008. Average expenditure per visitor was up strongly (+7.6%) to $1,318. Clearly TNQ has benefited from the surge in Chinese visitors which rose by 16.1% over the year and accounted for 21.8% of all international visitors to the region (up from 20.6% a year ago). But it’s not just the Chinese; over the year visitors from the US are up 12.8% and the UK up 13.6%. As is the case for the state as a whole, TNQ has seen a dramatic decline in market share in the past decade but we are starting to see some (slow) recovery. TNQ’s share of the total Australian international market now stands at 11.6%; this is an increase from 11.2% a year ago but is still well down from the heady heights of 17% ten years ago.