By Ian Neubauer
Visitors from European and emerging Asian markets drove a nine per cent increase in spending by visitors to Australia, according to new data released by Tourism Research Australia.
The International Visitor Survey revealed spending by international visitors in the year ending June 2008 reached $16 billion — or $24.1 billion in total inbound economic value.
“Chinese, German and Italian visitors showed the strongest growth in spend by holiday visitors for the year, while visitors who travelled for education or employment and those visiting friends or relatives also increased their spending,” said Tourism Australia managing director, Geoff Buckley.
Visitors from China increased by 10 per cent to 340,000, while visitors from India rose 22 per cent to 18,000 for the year.
Visitors from Japan fell 14 per cent to 81,000 visitors, while visitors from the UK fell 6 per cent to 42,000.
“The decline in numbers from Japan, the UK and Korea is reflective of the challenges of the current international environment,” Buckley said.
“This is indicative of the latest forecasts from the Tourism Forecasting Committee, which predicted international visitor arrivals would remain unchanged in 2008 from 2007 levels of 5.6 million, before increasing in 2009 by an estimated 3.2 per cent.”