Short term arrivals and departures data for May from the ABS this morning shows arrivals hitting another record high. A total of 583,600 people came into the country in May (13.7% higher than a year ago) for a total of almost 6.7 Million over the past year (8.7% higher than the same 12 month period a year ago and the greatest annual increase since Apr 2005). Arrivals were once again greatly impacted by the growth in the Chinese market.
Chinese visitors in May were up to 66,700 (from 66,400 in Apr) for an annual total of 761,600 (a new record and 11.4% higher than a year ago). Many of these Chinese visitors are coming to the Far North; a fact made abundantly clear when I went through Cairns airport this morning!
Departures for the month fell sharply to 754,600 from 790,000, although this still represents a 3.1% increase from this time a year ago. For the 12 months to date departures reached a new high of just over 8.9 Million (6.6% higher than the same period a year earlier). This slower growth in departures means that the gap between departures and arrivals, which peaked at over 2.34 Million in Jan, has now fallen to 2.25 Million.
UPDATE. Gene Tunny over at Queensland Economy Watch has also posted on the latest data.