BALI will replace New Zealand as Australia’s most popular overseas travel destination by 2023, and the Chinese will overtake Kiwis as our largest source of international visitors by 2019.

The predictions are contained in Tourism Research Australia’s 2015 Tourism Outlook which paints a positive picture of steady growth in international visitors in the next decade.

Overseas arrivals are forecast to reach almost eight million by 2016-17, and close to 11 million by 2024-25.

Booming ... Bali, Indonesia, will overtake New Zealand within the next decade, to become our top overseas travel destination. 

The most dramatic growth will be among Chinese and Indian visitors Down Under, set to double in the next decade.

Domestic tourism is also in line for an annual 3.5 per cent increases thanks to lower fuel prices and the weaker Australian dollar making overseas travel a bit less attractive.

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Aussies will not stop heading abroad though, with close to 13 million people set to travel overseas in 2024-25, up from 9.5 million this year.

Indonesia — the home of holiday island Bali, is tipped to attract almost 1.7 million Aussie visitors in 2024-25, just ahead of New Zealand on 1.66 million and the US with 1.3 million.

But the figures that have tourism authorities most excited, are the predictions of $112.6 billion in spending by domestic and international tourists in the current financial year, rising to $145.1 billion by 2024-25.

Big spenders ... Chinese tourists at the Sydney Fish Markets. 

Federal Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck said overseas visitors would lead the way in the expansion of the sector.

“Asian markets such as China and India are likely to drive growth in visitor arrivals in 2015-16, however the forecasts reveal solid growth is expected from markets such as the US, the UK and New Zealand,” he said.

Tourism and Travel Forum CEO Margy Osmond said the figures showed the industry had the potential to be an economic and jobs powerhouse for the nation.

“Expenditure (by tourists) is growing at nearly twice the rate of the national economy,” Ms Osmond said.

“Tourism is an industry that is on the move and now is the time for the government to back it up with a renewed economic and investment strategy.

“More tourists, staying more nights and spending more money, means more jobs for Australians and a wealthier nation.”

Popular ... Chinese visitors will almost double in number in the next decade. 

Managing Director of the Australian Tourism Export Council, Peter Shelley urged the Federal Government to remove impediments to tourism such as onerous and expensive visa applications, and travel taxes and charges.

“Driving awareness of Australia as a destination and converting this to travel is a vital element of success when we are competing against almost 200 other international travel,” Mr Shelley said.

“Overall we have a fantastic opportunity and a very bright future with strong engagement in the markets which are showing the greatest potential for growth so our industry should be confident in its ability to convert these figures into reality.”

TOP DESTINATIONS 2015-16 and 2024-25

1. New Zealand (1.28M) 1. Indonesia (1.68M)

2. Indonesia (1.174M) 2. New Zealand (1.66M)

3. US (1.01M) 3. US (1.3M)

4. UK (572,000) 4. Thailand (756,000)

5. Thailand (567,000) 5. UK (686,000)

6. China (426,000) 6. China (602,000)

7. Singapore (359,000) 7. Singapore (509,000)

8. Fiji (346,000) 8. Fiji (480,000)

9. Malaysia (261,000) 9. Malaysia (350,000)

10. Hong Kong (215,000) 10. Hong Kong (251,000)

TOP SOURCE COUNTRIES 2015-16 and 2024-25

1. New Zealand (1.3M) 1. China (1.95M)

2. China (1.07M) 2. New Zealand (1.59M)

3. UK (700,000) 3. UK (930,000)

4. US (609,000) 4. US (814,000)

5. Singapore (380,000) 5. Singapore (563,000)

6. Malaysia (340,000) 6. Malaysia (523,000)

7. Japan (332,000) 7. India (405,000)

8. India (245,000) 8. Japan (385,000)

9. South Korea (229,000) 9. South Korea (306,000)

10. Hong Kong (210,000) 10. Hong Kong (287,000)

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