The ABS Short Term Arrivals data released this morning shows arrivals into Australia running at an annual pace of growth of 4.5% to Dec ’18. Chinese arrivals numbers, having been the leading light for so long, have continued to see their pace of growth slow and they are now increasing at the same rate as total arrivals (seasonally adjusted +4.4%, Trend +4.6%). This is their slowest rate of growth since April 2010.
The ABS also produce original, unadjusted data on the State of Intended Stay. We Trend this data and see that annual growth to Queensland is running at +6.2%; down slightly from previous months but still better than the national average. Victoria (+8.7% annually) continues to do well although ACT (+13.6%) and Tasmania (+12.9%) still lead the pack.
This data suggests that the TRA International Visitor Survey for the fourth quarter (due for release in the third week of March) should show that international visitor growth to Queensland has picked up from the 4.6% rate seen in the Sept quarter. However, the slowdown in Chinese visitor growth may well see Tropical North Queensland once again struggling to keep up (last quarter international visitors fell by 3.3%…see here for full commentary on the Sept IVS).