Falling A$ helps visitor numbers surge

Today saw the release by the ABS of the short term Arrivals and Departures data for August. With the A$ having fallen to its lowest levels since early 2009 against both the US$ and our Trade Weighted Index it’s not surprising to see the number of international arrivals continuing to grow strongly.

Considering the seasonally adjusted data we see arrivals in August at a new record high of 619,300. That represents a 6.7% increase over the same month a year ago and an increase of 6.3% for the past 12 months to just under 7.2 million (also a new record high).

Of particular interest to our region are the numbers from China. Here we see a 13.4% increase from a year ago (seasonally adjusted) for a 19.6% increase over the course of the past 12 months. For the past 12 months China has represented 13.3% of all international arrivals into Australia; another new record high. We we consider the more stable Trend data we see a 12.6% increase from a year ago and growth of 20.0% for the past 12 months. Clearly the Chinese market continues to grow very strongly and this should be reflected in continued good numbers for the third quarter for the Tropical North.

Despite the weaker A$ departures continue to also grow, although at a much slower pace. International departures were up just 2.6% from a year ago and are up 2.8% over the course of the past 12 months. This is the slowest rate of growth in departures since June 2009.

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