As travel is one of the biggest industries in Australia it is interesting to look at who Australia’s major travelling trading partners are; who are our biggest export markets for travel, and who do we import the most from, and who do we have the biggest travel deficit with?

Where we are importing from

The biggest import market for Australia in terms of the number of short term resident departures in 2012 was New Zealand, which received 1,103,300 visits from Australian residents. It is followed by Indonesia which had 911,800 short term visits, the USA (863,600), Thailand (622,300) and the UK (489,100).

Destination

Short Term Departures

from Australia in 2012

(‘000)

New Zealand

1,103.3

Indonesia

911.8

United States of America

863.6

Thailand

622.3

UK, CIs & IOM

489.1

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)

381.1

Fiji

332.5

Singapore

306.5

Malaysia

259.4

 

Where our exports come from

New Zealand is by far Australia’s largest travelling partner when it comes to travel, with an estimated 1,201,200 short term visitor arrivals in 2012.  The Chinese are the next biggest contributors to Australian travel exports, making 626,500 trips in 2012. They are followed by the British (593,800), Americans (479,000) and the Japanese (345,000).

Country of residence

Short Term Arrivals

to Australia in 2012

(‘000)

New Zealand

1,201.2

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)

626.5

UK

593.8

United States of America

479.0

Japan

354.0

Singapore

343.7

Malaysia

262.6

Korea

196.7

Hong Kong (SAR of China)

176.7

 

Our balance of travel relationships

In economics a simple way of looking at the trading relationship between two countries is to look at net exports between two trading partners.  In the case of our travel balances (the number of arrivals from a given country minus the number of departures to that country) Australia has the highest travel surplus with China, as there were 245,400 more short term visitors to China, than there were Australian residential departures to China.  They are followed by Japan (with 191,100 more arrivals than departures), Korea (145,900) and the UK (104,700).

Five largest Australian travel surpluses

Country of residence

2012 arrivals to Australia minus

Australia resident departures

(‘000)

China (excludes SARs and Taiwan)

245.4

Japan

191.1

Korea

145.9

UK, CIs & IOM

104.7

New Zealand

97.9

In terms of travel deficits, there are 766,200 more short term departures to Indonesia by Australian residents, than there are short term arrivals by Indonesians to Australia.  Australia has the next largest travel deficit with Thailand (538,400), followed by the USA (384,600) and Fiji (299,800).

Five largest Australian travel deficits

Country of residence

2012 arrivals to Australia minus

Australia resident departures

(‘000)

Indonesia

766.2

Thailand

538.4

United States of America

384.6

Fiji

299.8

Philippines

110.1

Lowering the travel deficits with a number of these countries could certainly give tourism Australia some interesting targets.

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