Both short term visitor arrivals and resident departures have increased since December 2012 by 7.5% and 8% respectively in trend terms. However the Chinese numbers continue to create some uncertainty with trend growth sliding in recent months following their legal reforms to sale of package tours.
This is the ABS table for arrivals from our top 10 visitor nations:
Trend growth from China over the past year is now down to just 1.5% although growth from other Asian nations (ex Japan) top the table. There are suggestions the package tour changes may have more limited impact in FNQ.
Anecdotal reports and observations so far following the resumption of direct flights last month and the Chinese New year have been positive. Sustainability of the direct flights over the full year this time around beyond their peak season maybe a factor to watch.
BTW I note that a previous query on ABS monthly seasonal adjustment for Chinese lunar new year is covered in explanatory notes:
Chinese New Year often falls in February but on some occasions falls in January. The movement of Chinese New Year between the boundary of January and February can cause biased seasonally adjusted and trend estimates. The Chinese New Year proximity adjustment method takes into account the graduated increase in activity in the days leading up to the holiday period followed by a graduated return to the normal activity levels in the days following.Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics