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Monday, 12 December 2016

Tourism & education go Boom-BOOM

Immigration steady

If you're a new blog reader...g'day!

If on the other hand, you're a long term blog reader, you'll need no reminding of a theme raised regularly here - to pay less attention to the spruiking of permanent arrivals figures and more attention to the number of international student arrivals (in line with forecasts made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection).

Net permanent and long term arrivals stabilised at +266,700 over the year to October 2016, around the level we've seen for the past seven months now.

After accounting for the natural growth in population (births minus deaths) net permanent and long term immigration at this level will hold population growth up at around +325,000 per annum. 

Meanwhile, short term arrivals have boomed to a record high 8.15 million, largely thanks to the lower Aussie dollar, which is great news for Sydney, Queensland, Tasmania, and other popular regions of the tourism industry. 

It's worth noting that Aussies still made 9.83 million overseas trips over the year to October, so if we really want to get the economy moving again, a dollar below 70 US cents would one way to do it. 

Asian Century - tourism & education boom

The unprecedented boom in short term arrivals has of course largely been driven by China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, with numbers surging by another +19 per cent over the year to a record 1.6 million.

A combination of a favourable shift in the exchange rate and the patronage of Oprah Winfrey has led to a massive surge in US tourism too, with annual arrivals up by +18 per cent to a record 701,800. 

Generally speaking settlers and visitors are coming more from Asia and less from Europe these days, with rapid growth in visitor numbers from a whole host of Asian countries.

The education arrivals numbers are something else again.

The rules for international student visas were streamlined and simplified effective 1 July 2016, and the impact has been swift and immediate with year-on-year arrivals up by 47 per cent in October, taking annual arrivals to a record 519,700 (up by an astonishing +15.2 per cent from the prior year).

If an oversupply of apartments in Melbourne is a concern then here is an effective means with which to tackle it: tens of thousands of students from China, India, and elsewhere in Asia, lured by the incentive of residency or sundry visa types upon the completion of their studies.