Australian US visitor numbers falling

The perception that the election and instalment of Donald Trump as the President of the United States in January may have caused a dent in the number of Australians travelling to the States is yet to be determined, however preliminary visitor data released in late May shows visitors were already trending downward by mid-2016.

According to the US Department of Commerce’s monthly arrivals data, there was a 7.1% year-on-year decrease in Australian arrivals to America for the nine months to 30 September 2016.

Despite a strong start to the year when visits to the USA spiked 10.4% in January, a nearly 5% dip in March brought the first quarter arrivals figure back to a lack-lustre increase of just 3.5% (to 268,937). But that marked the last sign of growth in 2016, for now, with each month between April and September showing drops in Australian numbers. April only saw a modest fall (-1.9%), but four of the five subsequent months saw double-digit declines, including a whopping 17.2% drop during the month of May.

Australia wasn’t the only country to record a decrease in visitation for the year-to-date ending 30 September, with six other Top 10 source markets for the United States also seeing drops compared to 2015 — Germany (-10%), Canada (-9%), France (-8%), the United Kingdom (-5%), Japan (-5%) and Brazil, which is down a monumental 26%.

Only Mexico, South Korea and China achieved an increase in arrivals to the US over the period. Australia is currently the USA’s eighth largest inbound market.

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