Bogan exodus continues

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for January, and the macro driver hasn’t changed since our Unconventional Economist, Leith van Onselen, reported on the December and annual figures last month (and just happens to be on a Bogan Exodus himself which is why I’m writing this):


Short-term visitor arrivals (496,800 movements) recorded a decrease of 0.6% compared with December 2011 (499,700 movements). This followed monthly decreases of 0.6% in November 2011 and 0.3% in December 2011.


Short-term resident departures (667,100 movements) increased 2.1% compared with December 2011 (653,600 movements). This followed a monthly decrease of 0.8% in November 2011 and an increase of 1.0% in December 2011.

So it seems the trend is accelerating. The ratio of annual tourism arrivals to departures has plummed a new 25-year low:

Whilst the numbers don’t lie:

Where are we going?

South East Asia (particularly Indonesia and Thailand) remains Australia’s favourite holiday destination, followed by Oceania, the Americas, North East Asia,and North West Europe:

But the coup de grace? The vodka in the Red Bull? The Aussie bogan’s penchant for Bali, Fiji and Thailand, is ceaseless, having risen at or over 10% year on year, driving much of the decline in Australian tourism:

Where are they coming from?

By contrast, the most foreign visitors to Australia came from Oceania (mostly New Zealand) and North East Asia:

Gotta love that high Aussie Dollar as the market economists keep shouting – unless you happen to be an Australian business. So either adjust, develop better service or a plane that flies London to Sydney in 2 hours. Or buy resorts in Bali. Or get a job in the mines.


  1. I was working in Darwin and went to Bali – yes cheap everything – but the locals have a contempt for Australian’s (say you are a Kiwi or from Britain, but say OZ!) and they actively rip you off. Plus you want to see how polluted a place can get and a contempt for the environment – knock yourselves out and the bogans really do give Australia a bad name. Don’t GO!

  2. And with the Aussie still strengthening against the Kiwi (how couldn’t it with an NZ OCR of 2.5% and yours at 4.25%!), then what’s going to happen when ‘we’ by-pass Aussie and head off elsewhere, as well?

    • “what’s going to happen when ‘we’ by-pass Aussie and head off elsewhere, as well?”

      The Gold Coast is really stuffed.

      • NZ is a great place for a holiday; but as for work, with an average individual income of about NZ$40k (A$30k), I’d seriously have a think about coming here for much else; even retirement. As my sister who lives in Melbourne says, “It’s a small place…”

      • I dont think I’d be earning the average wage Janet (and we don’t need much) but I do know the situation (I’m writing an article on the NZ exodus).

        As for “a small place” brilliant. Fracking brilliant. Biggest drawcard IMO, would be ruined if you took on the “grow everything” mentality that drowns out Oz…

        • Now if a guy that knows economics is saying that you have to wonder. Have you guys done an article about the benefits of increased population and who does it benefit? Would be interested if the “forever grow” population mentality actually has any premise empirically.

          • boyracerMEMBER

            AK – look up some of UE’s older posts. I’m fairly sure he looked at this in some detail once or twice.

            Was many months ago though from memory.

            I’ll echo Prince’s thoughts on NZ being a small place. I enjoyed my time over there a few years ago even if the snow season was abysmal that year and it rained solidly for a month!!

      • Speaking of Bogan,

        Taking the bike down to PI in May for a couple of Maxtreme days on track. Can’t Wait.

        • Now you’re rubbing it in. I’ve looked at my bike each day for about 90 days in a row now…still sitting there, dead battery now.

          Have fun down there, one of the best places in the country, even though its in Victoria…

        • Nice, most of my boganeering takes place at Eastern Creek. Would love to get down to PI one day. What do you ride?

    • This last weekend 180 people met in Coonabarabran to run some fun events in the Warrumbungle national park. We were told that we had to enter the park as individuals rather than as a group as we would have been up for more thyan $1000 dollars of liability insurance.
      You could argue that the high dollar is hard to avoid, but the red tape is another matter, it’s killing the industry.

  3. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    Here is an anecdote for you.

    A distant relative of mine finished secondary school in Balwyn Victoria late last year.

    For his schoolies week, he didn’t go to the Gold Coast, or to Byron bay.

    He went to BALI!!! Along with most of the year 12 finishers.

    When I spoke to his mum, (who paid for most of it), she said it was cheaper to do it that way.

    • Not sure what to say. Pales the Grand Tour of Europe I guess; I just don’t get going to Asia for cheap booze and partying, but then again, we are a binge drinking culture. The fact the mum financed it worries me more than anything else.

    • I saw 13 year olds in Bali completely off their tree’s on booze and who knows what else – it is like Aussies, in particular, throw off all restraint and go rabid. It is apparent that normal Aussies would never do what they do in Bali and it is little wonder that the Balinese see us as only cash cows and do not like us.

      • Ugly Aussies are easy to pick in Bali — they’re the ones wearing the Bintang singlets.

        Get out of Kuta and the coastal strip and the ugly Australian is much harder to find.

        • I attended a bucks night in Bangala Road, Phucket (“fucket” as it affectionately known to the bogan) a few days back. Talk about westerners behaving badly, complete with Chang and Singha singlets on. One of the bogans in the group said something like: “Bangala Road – where dreams come true” just before he spewed into the gutter. Classy stuff.

          • Awesome. I’m stuck in Adelaide. I spew into the gutter most weekends, but it’s just getting familiar, ya know?

  4. Looking at the inbound tourist numbers, where is the surge in Chinese tourists everyone keeps talking about? NE Asia looks lower than it was in 2006, and if anything, growth in Chinese tourists has simply offset a fall in Japanese tourists.

    • It’s also important to understand the nature of Chinese tourism. Much like the Japanese tourism of the 80s and 90s, it is dominated by tour companies who aim to maximize their profits by building relationships with restaurants, shops, transport suppliers, etc. It’s very much controlled where the Chinese tourists spend. They will be directed towards stores that cater to their tastes, and those same stores are likely to reciprocate in kind to the tour companies.
      This idea may be rubbished but it is the same phenomenon seen from Tokyo to Bangkok to Paris to Sydney.

    • Frankly, Australia doesn’t appeal to the Chinese tourists that much. The US is a much more attractive destination for them since they are obsessed with Hollywood, Disneyland and Wall Street. We can’t really compete on our great outdoors either. Haven’t you noticed most Chinese avoids the Sun at all costs? Noticed those pale Chinese girls with umbellas walking around on a nice sunny day?

  5. No wonder too. Best you can hope for here is an overpriced, run down dusty cabin or 80’s resort.

    “third world” Asia and Africa trump Australia in luxury, style, setting and sophistication and even Europe is cheaper as far as accommodation goes. I honestly wonder whether this is solely down to the higher dollar.

    No sympathy for the tourism industry from me. Get your act together. It’s called competition.

  6. TP; in the last graph, series 3 is meant to be N-W Europe?

    In May, I join the bogan exodus to Bali (but for a honeymoon in some rather nice but over priced resorts). Hoping to dodge the “rabid” crowd…

  7. Prince

    I would be interested in a piece on Indonesias economy, how much does Boganville (Bali) contribute to it as well I know that the Indonesian are running a CAS and their economy is booming.The other thing was SANTOS and the mud volcano is that thing still a potential lawsuit for Santos ?

  8. Toil and Trouble

    Facebook and Myspace have a lot to answer for. Both hit the MSM around the same time as the rise of the Bogan tourist (2003 onwards).