The Productivity Commission has released its latest research paper into Australia's international tourism industry. Among the report's key points include:
- Australia's international tourism industry has grown strongly over the past two decades - the number of international visitors to Australia has more than doubled, rising from 2.5 million in 1992 to 6.7 million in 2014.
- The composition of the industry has also changed, with the growth in importance of source markets such as China and India. China is now the second largest source of visitors after New Zealand. Alongside this, there has been a slowdown in growth in the number of visitors to Australia from some historically important source countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
- Growth in the industry overall means regional visitation has increased, but the change in composition of source countries has contributed to a decline in the proportion of expenditure and the proportion of international visitors travelling to regional areas of Australia.
- There has been an overall decline in international tourism activity in some regions, with Tropical North Queensland experiencing a 20% decline in the number of international visitors travelling to the region, particularly from Japan.