Austrlaian tourism operators are reeling over the inbalance of tourist arrivals to departures. Due to the high Australian dollar, local tourism accommodation providers are looking at lower than average occupancy. An exception is the caravanning and camping market segment, which is maintaining high occupany levels as its "captive" market of caravan and motorhome owners and outddor experience-driven young families continue to enjoy this holiday lifestyle.
Short-term visitors rose more than departing residents in June, but the flood of travellers out of the country is still overwhelming the flow of visitors.
Seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed there were 515,100 short-term visitor arrivals in June.
That was 16,700 or three per cent more than in May.
Short-term resident departures posted a smaller rise of 7,100 or one per cent.
Even so, at 691,300, departures still outnumbered arrivals by 176,200.
A decade ago it was the other way around, with arrivals typically outnumbering departures by around 110,000.
Comparing June 2012 with June 2002, visitor arrivals have picked up by 30 per cent.
That sounds like a solid gain, but it's only a fraction of the rise in travellers heading the other way.
Encouraged by the soaring Australian dollar which has made overseas travel more affordable, short-term resident departures have more than doubled over that time, surging by 141 per cent.
As a result, the balance of short-term travel movements has shifted by over 280,000 against Australia.
That's 280,000 per month.
The monthly estimates of short-term travel movements can be volatile, even after seasonal adjustment, but the smoothed trend figures calculated by the ABS tell a familiar story.
The trend growth rate of arrivals is currently 1,600 a month, while departures are rising by 4,300 a month. Another year of those trends will widen the balance of short-term travel movements by another 40,000 or so per month.
If that happens, there will be 215,000 more residents heading overseas for holidays and business travel than foreigners visiting Australia this time next year.