Inbound tourism figures show value of high spending visitors, says ATEC

AUSTRALIA's international visitor growth may be tapering off, but their average 'spend' is up.

According to the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), the international visitor market continues to grow, as fewer visitors are spending more during their stay. That delivered another $2 billion to the Australian economy over the past year.

ATEC managing director Peter Shelley said "the huge growth in visitor numbers seen in previous years is starting to taper but the quality of the visitor and their engagement with our product is showing no sign of slowing down". 

“Today’s International Visitor Survey (IVS) shows a modest growth in the number of visitors coming to Australia compared to previous double digit highs, but the growth in spend is continuing to hold up,” Mr Shelley said. 

“While the size of the growth has slowed, what we are seeing is a change in the profile of visitors from several markets  -- a result of recent promotional campaigns which focus on attracting higher spending visitors who stay longer.

“In the past few years we have seen a transition within the China market, where we now have significant growth in small group, more independent and more affluent visitors compared with what was typically a large group market in previous years.

“Similarly in the US we are seeing their spending increase as they look for a more immersive Australian experience highlighted during the (Crocodile) Dundee campaign, which was aimed at attracting high spending American visitors.”

Mr Shelley said Japan was enjoying a renewed love of Australia with both arrivals and spending up considerably.

“Japan is a market that has reconnected with Australia over the past few years and initiatives like the new direct ANA flights to Perth will help to further strengthen this relationship," he said.

"At the same time the UK, one of our largest and long term markets, is still severely troubled by the lack of stability and uncertainty caused by Brexit, but we look forward to seeing this market return to strength in coming years.

“Today’s numbers are pleasing given there are several geo-political factors at play impacting global travel. The numbers show our established markets remain solid, with new markets including India continuing on a significant growth trajectory, and that spending as a key performance metric continues to grow.”

ATEC's Meeting Place 2019 travel and tourism conference takes place at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 25-27.


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