Short-term inbound tourist numbers took a hit in January

Short-term inbound tourist numbers took a hit in January

Despite efforts to lure tourists to the Land Down Under, new data revealed a dip in the number of inbound tourists between December and January.

New Bureau of Statistics figures showed short-term international arrivals in January, which stood at 56 per cent of 2019 levels in January, down from 60 per cent in December.

New Zealand was Australia’s biggest source of inbound tourists, but the number of arrivals was still 30 per cent short of what was recorded in 2019 for the corresponding time period. This was also seen with airline data, that showed a trans-Tasman passenger load of only 65 per cent.

But the inbound markets for the United States and United Kingdom have grown faster, fulfilling 73 and 75 per cent respectively of January travellers, while India has surpassed all with 79 per cent. Chinese figures sit at only 10 per cent of 2019 levels, Singapore is at only 60 per cent, South Korea is at 61 per cent and Hong Kong is 62 per cent.

But Aussies are still steadily heading overseas, hitting just under 80 per cent of 2019 figures.

Craig James, CommSec’s chief economist, told The Australian that the stats revealed people are still reluctant to travel.

“Tourism numbers are still a long way from ‘normal’ levels before the pandemic,” James said.

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