Spain, Austria and the Netherlands lead the European arrivals growth in Australia this year, but the United Kingdom remains by far the busiest source market

Spain, Austria and the Netherlands have all recorded double-digit rises in travellers to Australia over the first four months of 2018, according to latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The strong performance from the three nations is part of a general upward trend that has seen just four of 17 largest country markets from Europe to Australia report declines in travellers in the Jan-2018 – Apr-2018 period.


Summary:

  • Spain, Austria and the Netherlands have all recorded double-digit rises in travellers from Europe to Australia over the first four months of 2018;
  • Overall arrivals from Europe into Australia have risen +3.1% over the Jan-2018 – Apr-2018 period  and has seen levels rise to 631,000 million travellers;
  • The Netherlands has now overtaken Sweden as the seventh largest European source market for arrivals in Australia and could rise to fifth if growth levels continue for the full year;
  • Unsurprisingly, European arrivals in Australia continue to be dominated by the United Kingdom, which currently accounts for almost half (48.2%) the regional total.

This has contributed to a +3.1% rise in European arrivals in Australia over the four month period, versus the same months last year, and has seen levels rise from 612,000 travellers in 2017 to 631,000 million this year. This is down versus the global average which is exactly double the rate at +6.2% with arrivals increasing from 2.98 million people to 3.16 million people for the four month period, boosted by particularly strong growth from North East Asia (+9.2%), the largest source market, and the smaller Southern and Central Asia region (+24.8%).

Standing alone, April was actually a weak month for European arrivals in Australia with levels down -6.5% versus the corresponding month one year earlier, but the timing of Easter would have impacted the levels and influencing an uplift the month earlier.

Spain leads the growth charts from Europe with Australian arrivals increasing +13.4% over the first four months of the year. Austria has witnessed a +12.7% rise in levels and the Netherlands a +10.5% growth. Notable rises are also being recorded by France (+8.8%), Norway (+8.3%), Denmark (+7.0) and Finland (+7.0%).

CHART – Spain, Austria and the Netherlands have all seen double-digit rises in visitors to Australia during the first four months of 2018, versus the same period in 2017Source: The Blue Swan Daily and the Australia Bureau of Statistics

The Netherlands has now overtaken Sweden as the seventh largest European source market for arrivals in Australia and if its current rates of growth are sustained it could easily also exceed the Ireland and Switzerland markets by the end of the year and enter the top five. Unsurprisingly, European arrivals in Australia continue to be dominated by arrivals from the United Kingdom, which during the analysis period became connected by non-stop air service for the first time ever.

While the new Qantas Perth – London flight might change traveller habits, it is unlikely to significantly impact the number of people travelling, although ambitious plans by Qantas to introduce further non-stop connectivity between Australia and other European nations and even launch a Sydney – London service with future generation ultra long haul airliners, may in the future.

The United Kingdom is the fourth largest global source market for international visitors to Australia behind China, New Zealand and the United States of America (USA) and currently accounts for almost half (48.2%) of all arrivals from Europe. It has grown by +2.7% over the first four months of 2018, versus the same period last year.

Enhanced air connectivity between China and Australia has seen the North East Asian nation overtake New Zealand as the largest source market for visitors to Australia with 1.4 million arrivals over a rolling annual period (12 months to Apr-2018), versus the 1.36 million recorded by New Zealand during the same period.  New routes between China and Australia added this year include Shenzhen – Darwin by Donghai Airlines; Haikou – Sydney by Hainan Airlines and Tianjin – Sydney by Tianjin Airlines, adding to a significant number introduced in 2017.