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Inbound tourism showing signs of recovery

Australia’s inbound tourism market is showing signs of a minor recovery this year, according to analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures data by the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

In January and February 2010, there were 1,014,300 overseas visitors to Australia compared to 962,300 the same time last year an increase of 5.4 per cent.

Notable arrival trends include:
United States (up 8.3%) and China (up 8.9%)
Japanese visitors stable (up 1.7%)
An increase in French visitors (up 22.3%)
Some decline in the number of visitors from Ireland (-7.6%), the United Kingdom (-1.3%) and Hong Kong (-1.4%).

During that same period, however, the number of Australians travelling overseas grew by 17.9 per cent from 772,700 in 2009 to 911,200 in 2010.

TTF National Manager, Tourism, Evan Hall said while we are seeing some revival in international tourism to Australia, there is still a significant exodus of Australians heading overseas.

“Each year, more Australians are heading overseas in contrast to the number of international guests arriving and this imbalance is causing a massive drain on Australias economy,” he said, reinforcing the need for a long-term tourism strategy that will boost both domestic and international visitor rates.

“It is vital the Federal Government, at the very least, maintains Tourism Australia’s funding at $133 million in next month’s Budget. Last week, we saw strong industry support for Tourism Australia’ s new global marketing campaign Theres nothing like Australia which invites Australians to share their favourite holiday experiences.

This approach will not only have widespread appeal at home and abroad, but is destined to enjoy a longevity lacking in previous campaigns.
This kind of flexibility in tourism marketing is exactly what Australia needs to remain competitive.

“Sustaining the current investment in Tourism Australia is necessary to ensure it has the capacity to respond to fluctuations in the market.”

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