The Short Term Arrivals and Departures data for Feb released this morning seems to reflect the impact of the Chinese New Year falling in early Feb. Clearly many Chinese arrivals were in the country before the actual date and showed up in the strong Jan numbers. February sees a reversal of that January strength.
Total arrivals were up just 5.9% from a year ago (the slowest rate of growth since May last year) while the 12 month running total showed a healthy 8.5% increase (both figures seasonally adjusted).
When we consider the Chinese data we see arrivals up just 1.8% on the same time a year ago (the slowest growth rate since the 10.3% fall in Jan 2015, also the result of Chinese New Year effects). This still equates to an increase of 23.6% for the previous 12 months; which is only slightly weaker than the record high from last month. The more stable Trend series showed an increase of 23.9% from the same time a year ago and a 23.7% increase over the course of the past 12 months. The boom in arrivals in China is still very much in place despite what these Chinese New Year effected numbers might suggest.