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Australia attracts record visitor numbers in 2016

Over the first half of 2016, tourism in Australia grew at three times the pace of the national economy, new data has revealed. 

The latest Deloitte Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook upgraded its forecast for international tourism as a result of this trend. Arrivals are now forecast to increase by an estimated 6.2 per cent per annum on average over the next three years. 

This is a considerable increase on the previous forecast figure of 5.4 per cent, which Deloitte issued in February. 

International visitor numbers surged by ten per cent in the first six months of the year - and this is the fastest rate of growth for this measure since the mid-1990s. 

Furthermore, expenditure from these tourists has increased by 17.6 per cent, which is more than double the 7.9 per cent average that has characterised the past five years. 

Partner at Deloitte Access Economics Lachlan Smirl said this growth - and the positive impact it is having on the wider economy - is a very welcome development. 

He added that international tourism in particular appears to have made a big contribution against a comparatively soft economic backdrop. 

"Yes, the Australian dollar remains relatively favourable and the sustained growth of the middle class in Asia continues to buoy international travel," he remarked. 

"But as income growth in China slows, travel to Australia is in fact accelerating. And this pattern is observable across a number of markets."

It was also noted that growth in domestic tourism has overtaken the number of Australians choosing to holiday overseas, with especially strong growth of 13 per cent and 37 per cent respectively recorded in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. 

"The long-term upside for tourism is now well established and we're seeing it play out before our eyes," Mr Smirl commented. 

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