ABS released the December data today for overseas arrivals and departures. There are some nice graphics and also additional commentary there from ABS on 2012 trends and long term growth from China and India.
It was noted by Conus Consulting that arrivals from China have been quite flat in the most recent months with the much heralded arrival of direct flights into Cairns insufficient to cause a ripple in the national data. A graph of the original, seasonally adjusted, and trend data from China is quite interesting.
The blue line is the original unadjusted data and it certainly is not hard to pick out Chinese New Year! The extent of that arrival volatility and how much Chinese tourism depends on the New Year period actually surprised but am not yet sure how that would compare with arrivals from elsewhere? As suggested previously a counter seasonality in arrivals from China may well be the most significant advantage for typically seasonal Far North tourism.
Anyway, the Year of the Snake begins this weekend so numbers and trends for January and February will be interesting. In previous years there have been direct New Year charter flights into Cairns. Last year this drew the particular attention of Bob Katter: Deport the pig trotter smugglers!
Update: Macrobusiness also has some commentary and charts.