Tourists flock here as locals leave Australia in droves
Shane Wright March 8, 2016, 12:20 am
Tourists are flocking to Australia but locals are rushing out the door, new figures show, with a record number of people departing the country permanently.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show better economic conditions in countries such as New Zealand and Britain and a slowdown in areas such as WA are adding to the exodus.
Through December and January, the two months when people usually make a move into or out of the country, almost 100,000 people left Australia for good.
Including long-term residents and citizens, it was the biggest December-January departure on record. In January alone a record 13,610 Australians, or almost 440 people a day, permanently waved goodbye.
And the number of people looking to move to Australia is falling. Total net permanent and long-term arrivals fell to 267,730 in the past 12 months.
In January alone a record 13,610 Australians, or almost 440 people a day, left permanently.It was the lowest annual result since early 2007 after which many Australians returned when the global financial crisis hit and many people from other nations sought out the strength of the Australian economy.
However, record numbers of people are visiting Australia in part because of the lower Australian dollar.
A record 1.3 million tourists from mainland China and Hong Kong spent time in Australia through the year, a 24 per cent rise over the previous year.
CommSec chief equities economist Craig James said it was now likely that visitors from China and Hong Kong would surpass New Zealanders — traditionally Australia’s biggest source of tourists — very soon.
Many of those tourists are headed for Tasmania. The number of overseas tourists spending time in the Apple Isle grew 14 per cent over the past year.
Overseas tourist numbers to WA over the same period rose just 1.5 per cent.