Where are the Chinese?
Overseas Arrivals and Departures data from ABS last week. Apart from a few tweeters and bloggers recent trends in Chinese short term arrivals have drawn little interest. The kind of growth numbers we have seen in the past have sort of evaporated in recent months: Is the Chinese tourism boom to Australia coming to an end?
It’s worth looking at the ABS original raw data in comparison with the seasonal and trend measures:
Seasonal adjustment on the Chinese data is huge. Note that this isn’t just related to the Chinese New Year period on monthly data but also to July which also correlates with education purpose of visit.
The scale range there doesn’t quite display the growth slowdown. The slightly negative original monthly data for October is the first such month outside the monthly lunar new year fluctuations for quite a while. Flat periods have happened before most particularly the regulatory change around Chinese tour packages a few years ago.
What prompted this post was the release yesterday from Auckland Airport which seems to indicate a rather abrupt slowdown in Chinese arrivals over the ditch:
October: -3.4%; Financial year to date: +2.1%; Rolling annual growth: +8.2%
This looks like something to watch to me.
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