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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Tourism >> International inbound tourism

Characteristics

There were 4.7 million inbound international visitors in 2003, down 2% from 2002 (table 21.4).

The average annual growth rate for inbound visitors between 1993 and 2003 was 5%. The level of international inbound visitors to Australia increased by 1.7 million (58%) in the decade beginning 1993. Annual growth rates of inbound visitors were strongly positive for most of this period. It is likely events such as the terrorist attacks in the United States of America (September 2001) and Bali (October 2002), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the war in Iraq affected the annual growth rates from 2001 to 2003 and the Asian economic crisis impacted on that for 1998.


21.4 INBOUND VISITORS

Visitors
Change(a)
'000
%

1993
2,996.2
15.1
1994
3,361.7
12.2
1995
3,725.8
10.8
1996
4,164.8
11.8
1997
4,317.9
3.7
1998
4,167.2
-3.5
1999
4,459.5
7.0
2000
4,931.4
10.6
2001
4,855.7
-1.5
2002
4,841.2
-0.3
2003
4,745.9
-2.0

(a) From previous year.

Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (3401.0).


In 2003 New Zealand was Australia's largest source of international visitors, accounting for 18% of total inbound visitors, followed by the United Kingdom (14%) and Japan (13%). 'Holiday' was the main purpose of visit with over two-thirds (71%) of the international visitors. New Zealand was also the main source of visitors for business purposes (26%), while the United Kingdom accounted for 22% of all visitors arriving for employment. Visitors from Asian countries accounted for two-fifths (40%) of all international visitors. They also accounted for just under two-thirds (62%) of all visitors arriving in Australia for 'education' purposes (table 21.5).


21.5 INBOUND VISITORS, By country/region of residence and main purpose of trip - 2003

Main purpose of trip

Business(a)
Holiday(b)
Employment
Education
Other and not stated
Total visitors
Change from 2002
Country/region of residence
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
%

New Zealand
155.8
580.5
12.4
6.8
83.6
839.1
6.2
Other Oceania
13.8
72.2
1.2
3.6
26.6
117.4
2.2
Germany
11.8
104.5
2.2
7.1
12.2
137.9
2.3
United Kingdom
45.3
557.5
18.4
5.5
46.2
672.8
4.7
Other Europe
41.9
282.4
10.4
22.3
44.2
401.3
-0.4
Indonesia
8.6
53.7
1.9
12.9
13.1
90.3
0.9
Malaysia
13.5
113.5
1.3
13.6
13.7
155.6
-2.1
Singapore
34.0
172.3
3.1
14.5
29.5
253.4
-11.7
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
15.4
91.7
0.9
10.7
10.7
129.3
-14.3
Japan
38.7
525.6
3.0
20.4
40.0
627.7
-12.3
Korea, Republic of (South)
14.3
152.3
1.3
18.6
20.7
207.3
9.3
Taiwan
4.8
67.6
0.4
5.9
9.0
87.7
-9.9
Other Asia
73.1
191.2
7.7
42.5
51.0
365.5
-6.1
United States of America
87.5
247.2
15.3
29.3
42.8
422.1
-2.8
Other America
14.8
79.7
2.4
6.9
11.6
115.4
-5.2
Middle East and North Africa
5.7
36.1
0.6
2.5
7.7
52.7
2.2
Other Africa
10.8
43.8
1.3
2.5
10.7
69.2
2.8
Not stated
0.2
0.9
-
0.1
0.1
1.3
-50.5
Total
590.0
3,372.8
83.9
225.7
473.5
4,745.9
-2.0

(a) Includes those visitors attending a convention or conference.
(b) Includes those visitors whose main purpose is visiting friends and relatives.

Source: ABS data available on request, Overseas Arrivals and Departures Collection, 2003.


In 2003 over half (56%) of international visitors to Australia stayed for less than two weeks. Visitors arriving for 'education' purposes tended to stay relatively long periods (86% of these visitors stayed for a minimum of two weeks and 47% for six months or more in 2003) but their absolute numbers were relatively small. Over three-quarters (76%) of international visitors arriving for business stayed less than two weeks (table 21.6).


21.6 INBOUND VISITORS, By intended length of stay and main purpose of trip - 2003

Main purpose of trip

Business(a)
Holiday(b)
Employment
Education
Other and not stated
Total
Proportion of total
Intended length of stay
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
%

Under 1 week
274.3
929.8
7.3
8.0
100.5
1,320.0
27.8
1 week and under 2 weeks
175.9
921.4
11.9
22.7
215.9
1,347.9
28.4
2 weeks and under 1 month
72.0
845.2
6.3
18.0
66.9
1,008.4
21.2
1 month and under 2 months
25.2
340.7
5.0
14.4
30.7
416.0
8.8
2 months and under 3 months
12.1
106.9
4.6
13.0
11.9
148.6
3.1
3 months and under 6 months
16.6
135.2
15.1
43.6
19.5
229.9
4.8
6 months and under 12 months
13.9
93.5
33.6
105.9
28.2
275.1
5.8
Total
590.0
3,372.8
83.9
225.7
473.5
4,745.9
100.0

(a) Includes those visitors attending a convention or conference.
(b) Includes those visitors whose main purpose is visiting friends and relatives.

Source: ABS data available on request, Overseas Arrivals and Departures Collection, 2003.


December 2003 accounted for the highest number of visitors (12% of total arrivals) in 2003 and May accounted for the lowest (5% of total arrivals). These were also the months that showed the highest and lowest number of 'holiday' visitors respectively. November had the highest number of 'business' visitors while April had the lowest (table 21.7).


21.7 INBOUND VISITORS, By month and main purpose of trip - 2003
Main purpose of trip

Business(a)
Holiday(b)
Employment
Education
Other and not stated
Total visitors
Proportion of total
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
%

January
37.9
273.5
7.4
30.0
47.9
396.6
8.4
February
50.1
282.7
5.9
45.4
43.4
427.5
9.0
March
51.8
273.9
5.0
17.3
44.5
392.5
8.3
April
35.5
236.8
4.2
9.8
35.2
321.5
6.8
May
48.7
172.0
4.3
7.9
28.0
260.9
5.5
June
40.8
216.4
5.5
12.5
33.2
308.3
6.5
July
53.9
269.2
8.1
42.0
42.3
415.5
8.8
August
53.1
254.7
8.1
14.0
32.4
362.2
7.6
September
58.7
269.1
8.6
12.9
36.3
385.6
8.1
October
57.6
309.9
9.7
16.0
42.2
435.3
9.2
November
63.0
349.7
8.6
9.7
42.3
473.3
10.0
December
38.9
465.1
8.5
8.1
45.9
566.6
11.9
Total
590.0
3,372.8
83.9
225.6
473.5
4,745.9
100.0

(a) Includes those visitors attending a convention or conference.
(b) Includes those visitors whose main purpose is visiting friends and relatives.

Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (3401.0).


In 2003, 35% of all nights spent in Australia by international visitors were spent in New South Wales. Queensland was the next most popular state, accounting for 22%. Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory were the least popular destinations, accounting for 1% and 2% respectively of international visitor nights in 2003 (table 21.8).


21.8 INBOUND VISITOR NIGHTS(a), By state/territory and main purpose of trip - 2003

Main purpose of trip

Business
Visiting friends/relatives
Holiday
All other reasons
Total
Proportion of total
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
%

New South Wales
2,444
6,497
15,975
17,342
42,272
35.5
Victoria
1,917
4,908
6,201
12,968
25,998
21.8
Queensland
950
5,273
14,286
6,169
26,757
22.5
South Australia
244
1,039
1,552
1,678
4,512
3.8
Western Australia
515
2,979
5,348
3,947
12,790
10.7
Tasmania
34
313
504
480
1,330
1.1
Northern Territory
135
271
1,761
427
2,593
2.2
Australian Capital Territory
148
218
292
1,711
2,369
2.0
Transit in Australia
9
34
348
78
469
0.0
Australia
6,396
21,533
46,265
44,799
119,093
100.0

(a) All visitors aged 15 years and over.
Source: Tourism Research Australia, 'International Visitor Survey', 2003.


Expenditure

In 2003 international visitors to Australia spent an average of $4,490 on each trip. Visitors from all other European countries (Other Europe) spent the most, averaging $6,650, followed by those from Germany ($6,412) and the United Kingdom ($5,884). The lowest average expenditure, $2,025 per visitor, was by visitors from New Zealand (table 21.9).

The top three expenditure items for the average visitor expenditure of all countries combined were: prepaid international airfares; food, drink and accommodation; and package tours.

Education fees accounted for a relatively large proportion of total expenditure for visitors from most of the Asian countries in 2003. Education fees was among the top three expenditure items for visitors from:

  • Indonesia (24% of expenditure)
  • China (18% of expenditure)
  • Thailand (22% of expenditure)
  • Malaysia (26% of expenditure)
  • Hong Kong (16% of expenditure)
  • Singapore (20% of expenditure)
  • Other Asia (16% of expenditure).

21.9 AVERAGE VISITOR EXPENDITURE - 2003

Items of expenditure

Package tours
Prepaid international
airfares
Transport(a)
Food, drink and
accommodation
Shopping
Entertainment
and gambling
Education
fees
Other(b)
Total
Country/region of residence
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$

New Zealand
230
477
190
597
355
77
7
91
2,025
Germany
1,172
1,820
919
1,620
423
98
234
126
6,412
United Kingdom
975
1,845
646
1,579
464
148
38
189
5,884
Other Europe
952
1,982
799
1,745
485
144
331
212
6,650
Indonesia
162
669
312
1,316
613
195
1,122
380
4,767
Malaysia
295
605
270
869
443
111
959
193
3,746
Singapore
237
634
269
938
420
135
714
264
3,612
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
428
749
349
1,066
475
200
717
423
4,407
Japan
1,627
480
266
579
462
91
194
61
3,761
Korea, Republic of (South)
1,076
613
295
979
586
147
618
183
4,496
Taiwan
824
614
269
713
601
128
660
80
3,890
Thailand
320
801
266
1,296
570
219
1,008
146
4,626
China (excl. SARs & Taiwan Prov.)
938
751
401
1,369
724
225
1,035
339
5,781
Other Asia
378
903
320
962
422
91
642
183
3,901
United States of America
1,486
1,559
481
1,155
454
104
299
93
5,631
Canada
842
1,668
613
1,397
383
125
214
183
5,423
Other countries
389
1,384
327
943
586
136
301
348
4,414
All countries
836
1,074
415
1,071
468
124
331
171
4,490

(a) Includes: organised tours; international airfares bought in Australia; domestic airfares; other transport fares; self-drive cars, rent-a-cars, campervans; petrol and oil for self-drive cars or other vehicles; and motor vehicles.
(b) Includes: phone, Internet, fax and postage; convention registration fees; medical expenses; and other expenses not elsewhere specified.

Source: Tourism Research Australia, 'International Visitor Survey', 2003.


International visitors whose main purpose of trip was education or employment had the highest average expenditure in 2003 ($12,898 and $9,549 respectively) (table 21.10).


21.10 AVERAGE VISITOR EXPENDITURE, By expenditure item and main purpose of trip - 2003

Main purpose of trip

Business
Visiting friends and relatives
Holiday
Education
Employment
All other reasons
Total(a)
Expenditure item
$
$
$
$
$
$
$

Package tours
420
182
1,237
822
276
534
836
Prepaid international airfares
1,441
1,342
869
999
949
1,246
1,074
Transport(b)
250
264
446
1,023
1,150
219
415
Food, drink and accommodation
1,067
632
898
3,649
4,259
776
1,071
Shopping
390
456
448
857
1,221
246
468
Entertainment and gambling
110
101
112
322
408
71
124
Education fees
20
61
55
4,577
70
181
331
Other(c)
200
140
94
650
1,216
216
171
All items
3,898
3,178
4,158
12,898
9,549
3,489
4,490

(a) Includes when passenger card not completed (main purpose not defined).
(b) Includes: organised tours; international airfares bought in Australia; domestic airfares; other transport fares; self-drive cars, rent-a-cars, campervans; petrol and oil for self-drive cars or other vehicles; and motor vehicles.
(c) Includes: phone, Internet, fax and postage; convention registration fees; medical expenses; and other expenses not elsewhere specified.

Source: Tourism Research Australia, 'International Visitor Survey', 2003.


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