Australian tourism rebounds +9% in September

AUSTRALIA. The number of “short-term” visitors to Australia in September rose +9% to a seasonally adjusted 428,800 from the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said this week.

The increase follows consistent monthly rises in the seasonally adjusted figures since June, as tourism recovers from the SARS epidemic and the Iraq War.

In year-on-year terms, the number of short-term arrivals climbed +7% to 383,400 in September. This compares to -2.6% in August and -0.6% in July.

“Preliminary estimates suggest that large numbers of short-term visitors came from New Zealand (86,100 movements), Japan (51,400 movements) and the UK (42,500 movements),” the Bureau said.

Compared to September 2002, visitors from New Zealand and the UK both increased by +7%, but decreased by -3% from Japan.

The country has attracted 200,000 fewer international visitors in the first eight months of the year and Australia seems headed for a third year of negative tourism growth, despite the attraction of the Rugby World Cup just opened, which is expected to bring in 40,000 people.

Tourism experts from the Australian Tourism Export Council warned the rest of the year would be “soft”.

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