Overseas Arrivals running at 8% growth. QLD suffering as others states surge.

The release from the ABS of the Overseas Arrivals and Departures data for Nov shows short-term arrivals into Australia rose 8% for the year. Visitors from China continue to grow strongly; up 7.8% (seasonally adjusted) and up 13.7% (Trend). Short-term departures of residents (which are only provided on an original, unadjusted basis) are up 6% y/y.

Such impressive increases in international visitors should translate into healthy numbers for those states attracting the international tourists, and yet data suggests that Queensland has been doing poorly in this regard. As we have been highlighting for some time, Queensland performance in the international visitor market has been poor recently (see here). The International Visitor Survey (IVS) from Tourism Research Australia is only produced quarterly with the most recent, covering the Sept quarter, released just a few weeks ago. Nevertheless this monthly Arrivals and Departures data from the ABS does provide original, unadjusted numbers for the state of intended stay of short-term visitors and, when used correctly, this data can tell us something about what we might expect from the Dec IVS when we get hold of it in March.

By Trending the original ABS data we can see that the worrying trend in the performance of Queensland has continued beyond the most recent IVS data. In the two months since the Sept quarter this data would suggest that visitor numbers to Queensland have fallen 0.8% (while they are up 0.6% across the nation as a whole) and are down 4.8% from their highs in April 2017.

It is important to note that this is a very different data set to the IVS from Tourism Research Australia (which has reported international visitor numbers to QLD growing, albeit at a much slower rate than at a national level) so we would not suggest that this analysis suggests international visitor numbers in QLD are about to contract, but it does demonstrate the relatively poor recent performance of the state.

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