TRAVELLERS to Australia citing their journey reason as “Visiting Friends/Relatives” are becoming a larger relative contributor to overall inbound travel numbers, according to a new analysis by John O’Shea of stockbroking firm Ord Minett.
The respected analyst cited May data which indicated the moving annual growth rate for this segment stands at 6.8% – a “relatively robust figure” compared to a year-on-year 2% drop in holiday arrivals.
He said the VFR growth was partly driven by increased family visits to the large number of international students now residing in Australia.
“At a high level we think that these travellers share many of the leisure travel characteristics that their holiday travel peers exhibit – i.e. that they are likely to seek out tourist activities whilst here,” O’Shea said.
The figures also break down holiday arrival figures, which are down almost 9% year-on-year.
He said the annual holiday inbound growth rate now sits at -2% “and continues the trend of a material slowing over recent times”.