The ABS Short Term Arrivals and Departures data for April shows arrivals up 10.1% from a year ago to a total for the 12 months of almost 8.5 million.
However, the crucial Chinese market (which accounts for 14.7% of all arrivals) has seen growth slow significantly. Trend growth in Chinese arrivals is up just 7.6% from a year ago; this is the slowest pace of Trend growth since Feb 2010. While a slowing pace of growth is to expected as the actual level of Chinese arrivals increase, the pace of this slowdown appears to be indicating a more potentially disturbing reality. Just over a year ago Chinese arrivals were growing at almost 30% a year. That pace of growth has been slowing rapidly since the start of 2016 and has now reached 7 year lows.
Departures are also up, although at a much slower pace than departures. Short term departures are up 4% from a year ago. The difference in the pace of growth of arrivals and departures has seen the annual gap between the number leaving and those arriving over the past 12 months fall to a 6 year low of just less than 1.5 million.
Domestic visitor numbers will be updated by way of the National Visitor Survey for the March quarter from Tourism Research Australia next Wednesday.