International visitors to Australia increase to record 6.4 million

According to the latest International Visitor Survey, which was released by Tourism Research Australia earlier this week, international visitor numbers increased 8% to a record 6.4 million visitors for the year ending December 2014.

The data also reveals that the total trip expenditure rose 7% to a new high of AUD 31.1 billion. Overall, leisure travel dominated growth in visitors, with holiday arrivals increasing 8% to 2.9 million, and those visiting friends and relatives up 10% to 1.8 million.

Asian markets grew strongly, with a rise in number of visitors as well as their total trip expenditure (both rose by 11%). Four of the top five markets saw record visitation, with visitor numbers from China up 18% to 784,000 and trip spend up 19% to $5.7 billion. China now accounts for 18% of total trip spend.

Travel numbers from the USA continued at record levels, with visitors up 11% to 523,000 and trip spend up 9% to $2.8 billion. Visitor numbers from Singapore increased 10% to 325,000 and trip spend increased 9% to $1.2 billion. New Zealand also saw strong growth, with visitors up 5% to 1.1 million and trip spend up 6% to $2.4 billion, however, UK visitors were down by 1% to 615,000.

“Given the current record performance, coupled with the lower Australian dollar, our proximity to the growth markets of Asia, and continued economic recovery in Western markets, the outlook for inbound travel remains positive,” said Tourism Research Australia’s Assistant General Manager, Mr Spiro Kavadias.

“With record international arrivals and strong growth in the investment pipeline, the tourism industry is in a good position to attain its Tourism 2020 goal of increasing overnight tourism expenditure to between $115 and $140 billion by 2020,” Mr Kavadias said.