Quarterly International Visitor Survey figures show that overall expenditure and the length of stay of international guests have increased apart from in the backpacker market, where numbers have slightly decreased, despite good showings from Victoria, WA and Tasmania. Queensland experienced the biggest drop in backpacker numbers.
Tourism Research Australia’s figures revealed that, overall, Australia’s international visitor arrivals are up 3%, along with spending (+4%) and total number of nights (+4%) for the year ending June 2011.
New Zealand was the largest source of visitors during the period (1,072,955), followed by the United Kingdom (595,554), China (474,607) and USA (434,600). Overall, Chinese visitors spent the most amount of money in Australia, followed by the UK and New Zealand.
However, a backpacker’s average trip expenditure in Australia was $5,242, down $511 on average from last year.
Backpacker numbers matched last year’s figures at 583,000 visitors for the year. In a statement released today, ATEC managing director, Felicia Mariani said:
“The value of the backpacker and youth traveller continues to be under acknowledged. This sector travels widely, accessing regional parts of Australia, they often work here, encourage family and friends to visit, spend longer in the country than holiday makers and spend almost as much per day.
“The average holiday maker spends $2,371 during their visit, staying 25 nights and spending about $95 a day whereas a backpacker will spend $5,242 or $75 a day, but spends 70 nights here – that is just $20 a day less than the regular holiday visitor but they stay almost three times as long.”
Tasmania performed well in terms of backpacker arrivals (+11.1%) as did Victoria (+1.3%) and Western Australia (+1.08%) all outperforming the national average. While backpacker numbers dropped in NSW (-3.5%), Queensland (-10%), South Australia (-11%) and the Northern Territory (-11%).
Of all backpackers, 76% visited New South Wales, 57% visited Queensland and 45% visited Victoria.
The average duration of stay in Australia for backpackers was 70 nights, which is down four nights on last year’s figures.
While they were here, backpackers spent 36% of their nights in a rented house, apartment, flat or unit and 33% in backpacker or hostel accommodation.