Earlier today the ABS belatedly released its overseas arrivals and departures data for November 2014. It’s an excellent release, if not slightly understated.
As it has been since the series began in 1990, New Zealanders remain the greatest source of short-term visitor arrivals to Australia. However, as the below chart shows, the Kiwis look like they’ll soon be displaced by visitors from a far larger nation to Australia’s north – China.
In the year to November 2014, short-term visitor arrivals from China surged to 842,100, an increase of 17.2% from a year earlier.
Annual growth of this magnitude isn’t unusual, as Chinese arrivals have recorded double-digit annual growth in each of the past 54 months. Since November 2009, only five years ago, the number of Chinese short-term arrivals has risen by more than 136%. Over the past decade, that increases to a mammoth 242%.
Based on that scale of growth from a nation of more than 1.3 billion people the outlook for Australia’s services, transport and tourism sectors is bright.