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International visitor numbers continue to rise



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

International Visitor Numbers Continue to Rise 05 December 2011

The latest Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows visitor arrivals to Australia grew 0.9 per cent in October this year with key Asian markets continuing to lead growth.

Arrivals from China continue to grow very strongly, up 30 per cent in October and up 20 per cent for the first ten months of the year, as against the same period last year. According to the Tourism Forecasting Committee, China is expected to become Australia's second largest market in terms of international visitor arrivals by 2012 and China is already the largest market by value.

Arrivals from other Asian markets including India and Indonesia have continued to grow strongly increasing 5.6 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively in October. India remains on track to become one of Australia's top ten markets by 2012.

Economic problems in North West Europe and the Americas continue to impact visitor arrivals with numbers down 3.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively for the ten months to October.

Outbound travel by Australians rose again - up 8.9 per cent in October - with most growth sourced from Australians travelling to New Zealand, up 23 per cent, predominantly for the Rugby World Cup.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the October figures reflect the transition from traditional to emerging Asian markets that Australia is experiencing.

"The immense growth in visitor numbers particularly from China, India and Indonesia is helping to offset the losses from traditional markets and this offers enormous opportunities for Australia's tourism industry," Minister Ferguson said.

"October's figures yet again highlight this important shift in tourist numbers from traditional markets like the United States, Europe and Japan to the emerging Asian market.

"The current environment represents a challenge, but also beneficial opportunities for tourism operators that position themselves to cater for these new markets.

"With air services having quickly returned to normal following the Qantas grounding, we can return to the business of strengthening the tourism industry's resilience, investing to build capacity and taking full advantage of growth opportunities."

October's figures do not include the full impacts of the Qantas grounding which will be reflected in the November Overseas Arrivals and Departures figures.

October's Overseas Arrivals and Departures is at www.abs.gov.au

Media Contact:

Cathryn Tilmouth - 0401 222 941

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