Chinese tourists shun Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics last week released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for June, which revealed that Chinese visitors are beginning to avoid Australia.

The number of short-term visitor arrivals fell by 1.2% in June in original terms, whereas short-term resident departures rose by 12.4% over the month. The ratio of annual arrivals to departures also rebounded to 81.1%:

Net short-term arrivals remain heavily in deficit and are have deteriorated recently:

In the 12 months to June 2019, the annual number of arrivals rose by 2.1% relative to the corresponding period of the prior year, whereas departures fell by 0.6%:

In the year to June 2019, 9.3 million inbound visitors arrived in Australia over the year – a 69% increase on a decade ago (5.51 million). The number of Australians traveling overseas was 11.52 million – a 90% increase on 10 years ago (6.08 million).

The next chart shows that short-term arrivals were dominated by holiday makers and those visiting friends and families:

As shown below, most foreign visitors to Australia came from NE Asia, which accounted for 29% of arrivals:

In particular, arrivals from China continued to flatline, recording effectively zero growth over the past two years:

This is shown more clearly in the next chart, whereby in rolling annual terms, Chinese arrivals have flatlined in number terms and are falling in percentage share terms:

In short, the China people bubble appears to have peaked. This is reflected in stagnating international student and tourism numbers.

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