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TRA Quarterly Issue 3 March 2013

The TRA Quarterly is a 'one-stop-shop' for top line information on the Australian tourism industry.

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Key findings (Year ending March 2013)


Moderate growth was recorded for most tourism demand and supply indicators against the backdrop of a still high Australian dollar; a mixed international macroeconomic scene; and below-trend performance for the Australian economy.



  • Latest indicators for tourism supply suggest a strengthening of growth in the number of jobs in tourism (more so in part-time employment), while growth in rooms in Australia’s larger accommodation establishments remains low. On the other hand, seat capacity for Australia’s international and domestic aviation sectors continues to increase at a solid rate (up 3.5 and 6.9 per cent respectively) in the 12 months to March 2013.


  • Total visitor expenditure in Australia rose 3.0 per cent1 (or by $2.8 billion) to $96.4 billion, with the growth in dollar terms evenly spread between the domestic and international segments.
  • Domestic tourism expenditure rose 2.0 per cent (or by $1.4 billion), mainly due to the strong 5.9 per cent growth (or by $1.0 billion) in day trip expenditure. While domestic overnight visitor expenditure was again flat (up 0.7 per cent), growth in its main competition, overseas trips, eased to 4.3 per cent. This was the lowest growth in rolling annual terms since mid-2009.
  • International visitor expenditure rose 5.3 per cent (or by $1.4 billion). More than half of this growth in dollar terms was sourced from Australia’s largest market by value, China (up $0.8 billion, or by 21 per cent to $4.5 billion), while expenditure by Australia’s third biggest inbound market, the United States, rose by 0.2 billion to $2.5 billion. Australia’s second largest inbound market by value, the United Kingdom, rose slightly to reach $3.0 billion, but remains well below 2009 levels.
  • Spending by the different purposes of travel was mixed, with the strongest growth sourced from travel for Employment (up 15.6 per cent), Visiting Friends and Relatives (up 6.6 per cent) and Holiday (up 4.3 per cent). Spending by visitors travelling for Education increased 0.7 per cent, but spending by Business travellers declined 2.6 per cent.


  • International visitor arrivals increased 4.9 per cent to 6.2 million. Similar to expenditure, the strongest growth was sourced from China (up 17.5 per cent), Singapore and Malaysia (both up 12.6 per cent), while solid growth was sourced from the United States (6.6 per cent) and New Zealand (up 2.3 per cent). Visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom and Korea declined 3.5 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.

1    All dollar and dollar changes are in nominal terms. Australia’s Consumer Price Index rose 2.5 per cent in year ending March 2013.