On Friday the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its tourism data for the month of August.
That data revealed that Australia welcomed 783,300 short-term visitors to its shores during the month, which was an increase of 0.7% on the prior month and a 4.8% lift on the prior corresponding period.
The main drivers of this growth was tourism from New Zealand, China, and Japan. Inbound visitors from these nations rose 2.7%, 2.6%, and 7.5%, respectively, on the prior corresponding period.
Larger increases were seen from India (16.5%) and Hong Kong (11.8%), but these were from a much lower base.
One small disappointment was inbound tourism from the United States. Tourism numbers coming across the pond fell 4% on the prior corresponding period. Increasing airfares due to higher oil prices could be to blame for this.
In addition to the inbound data, the ABS also provided data on resident returns. During August Australia welcomed home 934,300 residents who had been away on short-term trips during the month. This was a 0.3% increase on July’s numbers and a 6% increase on the same period last year.
During the month there was a 5.1% increase in returns from Indonesia, a 1.1% lift from New Zealand, a 6.8% jump from the U.K., and a 2.7% rise from the United States.
How can you profit?
I believe this data confirms that the inbound and outbound tourism boom continues unabated. And with no signs of the boom slowing any time soon, it could mean that tourism shares are well-positioned to benefit greatly for the foreseeable future.
However, casino and resorts operator Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN), ferry company Sealink Travel Group Ltd (ASX: SLK), and airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) could be equally good options for investors.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Crown Resorts Limited and Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Helloworld Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.