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Business travel reaches record high



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Business Travel Reaches Record High 07 December 2011

The latest International Visitor Survey shows that visitor numbers, nights spent and expenditure are all up over the year to September proving the resilience of Australia’s tourism industry.

Tourism Research Australia found moderate growth in overseas visitors to Australia over the past year, up one per cent but a decline in the most recent quarter down two per cent. Nights for the year are up four per cent and spend up a healthy five per cent.

Growth in visitor numbers from Asia displaced declines from traditional markets such as Europe, North America and Japan. Growth out of Asia was led by China where visitor numbers were up 20 per cent for the year. Strong growth was also recorded for Indonesia and India where visitor numbers were up 12 per

cent and nine per cent respectively.

In the September quarter, international visitor numbers were down by two per cent. However, nights and spend rose by four and three per cent respectively on the back of strong business growth. Inbound business nights were up 18 per cent for the quarter and spending by 13 per cent.

Business growth is also demonstrated across the year with international business travel now exceeding pre-GFC levels, and the year-ending September 2011 business numbers for visitors, nights and spend are the highest 12-month totals on record.

The Japanese tsunami, volcanic eruptions and tough economic conditions weighed on the results in traditional markets. Visitor numbers from Europe, North America and Japan are down three per cent, five per cent and 13 per cent respectively for the year to September. Nights and expenditure were also down in these markets other than for North American visitors with nights up two per cent and spend unchanged.

“These figures reinforce that the tourism sector is in transition with traditional markets making way for emerging ones,” said the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP.

“While this transition has many challenges for the industry, it also offers opportunities. The successful tourism businesses of the future will be those that can adapt to these trends, invest for growth and take full advantage of all the help on offer to improve skills.

“Many service providers to the mining industry are seizing new opportunities, especially with the trend towards fly-in fly-out travel and the growth in business travel more generally.”

The results released today do not cover the period of the Qantas grounding.

Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey is at www.ret.gov.au/tra

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