Arrivals continue to move ahead strongly but China starting to slow

Today’s release of the Short Term Arrivals and Departures data for August confirms the growth in international visitors to the country remains strong. Over the past 12 months we have welcomed just a touch under 8 million visitors ( a new record); a growth rate of 10.6% over the course of the past 12 months (fastest pace of growth in 12 years).

However, as total arrivals grow at an ever faster rate the Chinese market appears to be taking something of a breather. Seasonally adjusted data shows growth of 9.7% from a year ago for August which, whilst still strong, is weakest growth in 6 months and the fourth weakest month in the past 2 years. Considering the less volatile Trend series we see August with growth of 14.2% over last August which is the slowest pace of growth in over 2 years. Growth from China is still robust but it appears to have slowed somewhat in recent months (as the second graph below makes clear).

Departures also continue to grow and have reached 9.75 million over the past 12 months (another new record). Departures were up 4.5% from August last year and 4.7% above the previous 12 month total.

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