2012 in Numbers: Australian Tourism Statistics

Posted by on February 23rd, 2013 at 3:15 am

In 2012 Australia received a total of 6,145,500 visitors, a 4.6% growth compared to the previous year. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are among the most frequently visited tourist destinations.

How Many Tourists Visit Australia Each Year?

Over the last decade the number of people that visit Australia each year has grown from just under 5 million in 2003 to over 6 million visitors in 2012.

Who Visited Australia in 2012?

Visitors to Australia in 2012 - by country
See also our post from last year for a glimpse of how things are changing.

Year by Year Country Trends

New Zealand

Who visits Australia most? It’s definitely New Zealanders, and over the last several years the number of kiwis hopping over the ditch for a holiday has steadily been increasing.


Visits from China have doubled over the last 6 years, with over 0.5 mln Chinese flying into the country for a visit in 2011 and 626,000 in 2012, a year to year growth of over 15%.


An opposite trend can be seen with British visitors with drops seen in each of the last 7 years.


The number of US residents visiting Australia has been relatively steady over the last several years.


For several years the number of Japanese tourists coming to Australia has been sharply declining reaching a low of 332,700 in 2011.


On the other hand, Australia is becoming more and more attractive for tourists from Singapore.


The number of visitors from Malaysia has been growing rapidly over the last 5 years.


While not as popular as in the past, Australia is still a frequently chosen travel destination for Koreans.

Hong Kong

Visits from Hong Kong have been increasing, although the growth has not been as dynamic as from other parts of China.


Over the years, Australia has remained a popular destination among German tourists and the number of visits from Germany in the last several years has been stable with approximately 150 000 Germans visiting the country each year.

Although many tourist markets around the world have been affected by the global financial crisis, Australian tourism is still growing. While the volume of arrivals from some countries like Japan and the UK has been declining significantly now for several years, the number of visitors from other regions, such as China, has been growing dynamically.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics