Australia has become a favourable tourist destination, with many coming to visit with the view of living in the country.
Every single year millions of people move countries permanently in search for a better life. For many countries, that flow can be one directional but in others there are large numbers of both emigrants and immigrants.
Typically, Australia with its low population density and strong economy, has attracted high numbers of migrants.
A research study was conducted by Dwyer et al. to examine the links between tourism and permanent migration. The study found that the link seems to operate in both directions.
More about the Study
Essentially the study outlines relevant statistics and trends in tourism numbers and migration between the period 1980-2009 in Australia. This was a time of high inward migration to the continent.
As migration has increased in scale, with the intake reaching an all-time high early on in the 21st century, the process has become complex, incorporating greater flows of refugees, students, skilled migrants, and short-term employment seekers.
What’s more, the diversity of the various movements has added to the complexity of the relationship between tourism and migration, inbound and outbound alike.
The Results of the Study
The results from the study seem to indicate that migration patterns have a large influence on tourism flows in and out of Australia.
International arrivals’ results show that migration was an important determinant of visiting family and friends (VFR) travel in 1991 but there was little to no effect on non-VFR travel.
The study also indicates that this changed in 2006 when non-VFR travel also became affected by migration.
Overall, migration played a greater role in determining total arrivals in 2006.
Migration also tends to affect outbound travel as migrants return home to visit friends and family.
Inbound Tourism and the Economy
It has been suggested that increased inbound tourism due to migration is going to have a positive impact on our economy.
In fact, a 10% increase in migrants has the potential to increase GDP by $74 million AUS. What’s more, the impact on the economy for more spending associated with VFR tourism will see a gain of $15 million AUS.
More Links between Tourism and Migration
Speak to any migration lawyer in Melbourne and they’ll agree there are further links between tourism and migration including:
- Permanent residents who forge business ties with their original countries can contribute to Australia’s expanding international trade
- Migrants visiting their original country for the purposes of VFR can promote Australia, promoting applications for permanent residency on the continent and stimulating short-term visits.
- Tourism to Australia can result in migration if visitors find Australia an attractive place to set up home.
Highlights of the Report
One of the main points highlighted in the recent report is that permanent migration tends to enrich Australia’s cultural life and make the country more diverse and interesting as a tourist destination. This also influences domestic tourism as well as leisure. In fact, some consider the Irish theme pubs in contemporary Australia a legacy of early Irish migration.
Another point for consideration is retirement. Many people choose to retire to the South Shore of Lake Superior which has increased the popularity in that area in particular.
It can be taken from the study that both inbound and outbound tourism can generally have a positive effect on the Australian economy as well as building favourable relations between Australia and other countries. The impact of migration on tourism flow has been such that more and more visitors are coming to visit the country with views of settling down, finding jobs, and building a life in Australia.
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