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Tourism's shift to the East in 2011



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Tourism's Shift to the East in 2011 12 January 2012

Today’s figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on overseas arrivals and departures confirm the shift for inbound tourism from traditional markets to emerging markets.

With 11 months of data now in for 2011, the picture for the Australian tourism industry is one of solid growth in visitors from Asia but declines in visitors from North America and Europe. Total visitor numbers are up 0.6 per cent from November 2010.

For the first 11 months of 2011, arrivals from China were 19.9 per cent (or 50,100 visitors) higher than the corresponding period in 2010. There has also been strong growth from India, up 6.5 per cent, and from Indonesia, up 13.4 per cent. Arrivals from the United Kingdom and United States of America have decreased 4.7 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively. There was, however, some good news in November 2011 with arrivals from the USA up 4.5 per cent compared to November 2010.

The Qantas dispute, with flights resuming on 1 November, may have had an impact on international arrivals and departures however the stronger November figures and short duration of the grounding suggest this impact was minor.

Departures from Australia continued to grow - up 9.9 per cent for the year ending November 2011 - with rising incomes providing solid impetus for growth. A strong Australian dollar is also encouraging outbound travel, combined with increased air capacity and improved access to a range of destinations.

“Strong arrivals from China and growing demand for business travel are the big positives from 2011,” said the Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP.

“They also go some way to explaining the increase in accommodation takings of 4.9 per cent to $2.2 billion in the September quarter.

“An increase in air capacity with China Southern flying into Perth, the launch of Air Australia and the resumption of Qantas flights in November should have lasting positive effects.

“Weak economic conditions in North America and Europe can be expected to continue to impact on arrivals from these markets in 2012.

“In the meantime, we are working hard to make the Australian tourism industry as competitive as it can be. Tourism 2020 sets a course for measures to improve skills, reduce labour shortages, and increase investment in the tourism sector.”

November’s overseas arrivals and departures data are at www.abs.gov.au

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