Last year’s falls in the Australian dollar appear to have boosted tourist arrivals into the nation.
Bureau of Statistics figures on overseas arrivals and departures show the number of short-term visitors coming to Australia rose 0.1 per cent in February, seasonally adjusted.
The trend figures, which are smoothed out to reduce volatility, were up 0.6 per cent for the month, with 562,600 short-term visitors arriving to the country – the ABS says this is a record for February.
Over the past year, the trend arrivals figure is up 9.6 per cent, which CommSec says is the biggest annual gain in 13 years.
CommSec’s chief economist Craig James says China is accounting for a significant part of the increase.
“In February, 64,900 tourists from China came to Australia, up 6,200 on a year ago,” he observed in a note on the data.
“The annual number of Chinese tourists hit a record high of 748,200 in February, up 15.9 per cent on a year ago.”
A lower dollar makes it cheaper for overseas visitors to travel and stay in Australia, while also making it more expensive for Australians to holiday overseas, and should boost the tourism and hospitality sector.
Source: ABC News