Tourism spending continues to grow and contributes almost $35 billion – or $94.8 million a day – to the Australian economy, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). “Despite a year of global economic challenges and natural disasters, tourism growth was supported by …. an increase in the number of visitors from overseas (up 3.8%).
“Last financial year saw a record number of overseas arrivals in the financial year, with 5.9 million short-term visitor arrivals to Australia (up approximately 214,500 visitors on the previous year or 588 extra visitors a day). The increase was led by gains from China, New Zealand and Malaysia. China and South-east Asia accounted for close to one in four short-term overseas arrivals in 2010-11, up from one in six only five years ago.
“On the back of a strong Australian dollar, 2010-11 also saw a record 7.4 million short-term resident departures from Australia, an increase of 9.9% from 2009-10 (or 1,842 additional resident departures a day). Departures to nine of Australia’s top ten destinations increased. This was led by Indonesia (up 23.5%) and the United States (18.3%).
“Domestic tourism consumption grew at less than half of the pace of international consumption in 2010-11 (up 2.1% compared to 4.4%).
“This release also includes new data on full-time and part-time tourism employed persons. In 2010-11, 43.7% of tourism employed persons were part-time employees. This compares with 29.4% nationally, with only four other industries having a higher share of total part-time employed persons in 2010-11. Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services accounted for more than one in three tourism part-time employed persons.
“Overall, tourism employed 513,700 people in total throughout Australia in the last financial year, up 13,500 on 2009-10 and contributed 8.0% of Australia’s total export earnings in 2010-11.”