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More tourists to Australia, but they’re spending less

Australia is attracting a record number of tourists from China

Factors including the high Australian dollar are continuing to drag down the tourism industry’s yield, according to the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF).
 
“The latest International Visitor Survey shows an upward trend of visitors for the first half of the year, but a marked slowing of their spending. This will challenge the tourism industry’s goal of doubling visitor expenditure by 2020,” said TTF Chief Executive John Lee.
 
“It is good news that arrivals grew by 3.8 per cent from January to June, but it’s worrying that visitor spend grew four times slower at only 0.8 per cent. It’s clear that the high Australian dollar is not stopping them from coming, but is affecting what they do while they’re here.
 
“The low yield is further proof that investment is needed in product, service and experience.
 
“Looking at the full year figures to June, international visitors were up 1.4 per cent to 5.5 million, with nights up 4.1 per cent and expenditure up 2.4 per cent.
 
“This reflects strong growth among those visiting friends and relatives and the business visitor segment. But the strongest growth has been among foreign workers, up 11.7 per cent.
 
“Also worrying is the fact that holiday arrivals from New Zealand are down 1.2 per cent for the year to June. While overall figures from our closest neighbour are up by less than one per cent, the 8.8 per cent growth of employment arrivals has come at the expense of tourists.
 
“We are also seeing economic refugees from the depressed economies of Europe, with arrivals from Spain and Ireland both up, many of whom are on working holidays.
 
“There are some encouraging leisure signals contained within the survey, with markets like Taiwan recording strong growth partly as a result of Tourism Australia active marketing,” Lee said.

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