Tourism has very much been the jewel in the export crown this year with 3.4 million international visitors in the year to October.
There were a total of 38 million guest nights in the year to September, 6.2% higher than in 2015. International guest nights grew strongly, up 9.9% on the previous year. Domestic guest nights also grew though at a more subdued rate of 3.7%. The gap between the rate of growth between international and domestic guest nights has been widening over the last several months. However this does not mean that domestic tourism is ‘under-performing’ – it has simply been a case of a strong and recent surge in international visitor numbers.
This is also reflected in the increase in value and volume of hospitality related electronic transactions, up 13% over the year to September. Meanwhile, bars, cafes and accommodation sector saw the strongest growth in retail sales in the September quarter, up 9% on the same period in 2015.