Today I release the International Visitor Survey for the 2016 calendar year which shows spending by international visitors reached an unprecedented $39.1 billion last year.

Spending by international visitors to Australia has now grown by more than 35 per cent in the last three years – supporting Australian jobs and the broader Australian economy.

Twelve key source markets saw double digit growth in visitor numbers last year, with the fastest growing markets being: Taiwan (up 26 per cent), Japan (up 24 per cent), Korea (up 24 per cent), China (up 17 per cent) and the United States (up 16 per cent).

Of note, the number of backpackers visiting Australia grew by eight per cent during last year.

A resurgence in the Japanese market, which was worth $2.8 billion in the year 2000, is clear, with spending by Japanese tourists growing 29 per cent last year to reach $1.7 billion, the highest level in a decade. Aviation capacity between Japan and Australia has grown 20 per cent in the last year.

The Chinese market continues to evolve as a market of free and independent travellers (FITs), with the share of holiday visitors not on group tours growing to 45 per cent, compared to 28 per cent in 2010.

The Turnbull Government is supporting further growth in the Australian tourism industry, including by: investing a record $639 million in Tourism Australia to market Australia abroad; negotiating the world's best aviation access agreements; and introducing visitor visa improvements.

The International Visitor Survey is available on the Tourism Research Australia website at

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