Australia Reports Record-Setting $30.1 Billion in Visitor Spending

australiaThe Sydney Morning Herald reported this week that spending by international visitors to Australia rose to a record $30.1 billion in the financial year ending June 30, which is a 7 percent spike from the prior year.

There were record arrivals from eight key markets last year, including New Zealand, the United States, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and Germany. China was once again Australia's most lucrative tourism market, accounting for 17 percent of total spending by international tourists, followed by the United Kingdom with 12 percent.

Tourism Research Australia's latest international visitor survey, released last Wednesday, found a record 6.1 million international visitors came to Australia last year, up 8 percent from the prior year. Spending from those on holidays and visiting friends and relatives outpaced the rise in visitors from those categories, while spending by business clients and those arriving for education was relatively flat and spending in the employment category fell by 9 percent.

Spending by international visitors rose in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia but was flat in Queensland and fell in the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

Tourism Australia managing director John O'Sullivan said the U.K. market had performed better than it had for some years, aided by "fortuitous marketing opportunities" such as the high profile visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George, according to the Sydney Morning Herald report. 

And perhaps another reason why clients have a little more to spend while in Australia is because flights there are the cheapest they have been in years. In fact, according to the most recent GoEuro's Transportation Price Index, Australia is the fourth cheapest country in the world in which to fly with airfares costing roughly $12 per 62 miles, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

But, it is India that tops the list as the cheapest country in the world in which to fly - airfares costing just $10.36  per 62 miles. It is followed by Malaysia and South Africa, which claim second and third spots respectively, ahead of Australia.