The economic impact of overseas students on tourism in Victoria

Michael, Ian and Patel, Altaf (1997) The economic impact of overseas students on tourism in Victoria. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


Victoria University together with Tourism Victoria conducted a research project titled The Impact of Overseas Students on tourism in Victoria. The main aim of the study was to find out about the tourism interest and tourism information needs of overseas students, as well as to identify the importance and value of overseas students to tourism in Victoria. Altaf Patel and Ian Michael, from the Graduate School of Business, Victoria University under the supervision of Dr Anona Armstrong, undertook this project as part of their Master in Business Administration (MBA). A total of 600 questionnaires were distributed randomly to seven tertiary institutions in Victoria. Of those 600 questionnaires 219 were received completed by students. There is a continuing growth in the business of Australian education export to Asia. In 1995 there were approximately 70,000 Asian students studying in Australia yielding $2 billion directly in export income, of this about $400 million a year is contributed to the Victorian economy by about 17,900 students. This research into the impact of overseas students on tourism in Victoria has produced a number of key findings. The major reasons for students to study in Australia were Quality of education and Improvement of English language. Friends and relatives were key influences in students decision making as to where to study. Sixty four percent of all students researched took holidays while studying in Australia, New South Wales and Victoria were the highest visited destinations. Forty four percent of the respondents who travelled, liked making their own arrangements. The most visited places/attractions in Melbourne were Victoria Market, South Gate and Crown Casino, with regards to attractions outside Melbourne the Twelve Apostles and Sovereign Hill outshone others. Private transport was the most popular means of travel for touring purpose. Driving and Shopping were activities they enjoyed most. Sixty seven percent of students wanted to revisit places they had seen. An average of $225 was spent by students on their last trip around Victoria, they however stated that they could spend up to $392 per person. Using the number of students (overseas) in Victoria ie. 17,900 and taking into consideration 64.4% would travel, they can spend approximately $4,518,819 per annum. Thirty six percent found it convenient to undertake travel during the summer break, it should also be mentioned that 60% of all students go home for this break. Word of mouth played a significant mode of sourcing travel information, 73.1% said so. 65 % stated that gathering information on tourism was easy. Students found Victoria to be an interesting tourist destination. There were 54.8% of students whose friends and relatives visit them while studying. Of these 54.8%, 46.2% said they visit them once a year, 39.7% twice a year and 9.9% thrice a year. The average expenditure of a friend/relative is $527 in turn generating almost $8.0 million. Around 63.5% of students will visit Melbourne & Victoria after completion of their studies, this brings around 11,300 new inbound tourists per year. In turn these tourist numbers generate $6 million. Melbourne and Victoria will benefit tremendously in terms of attracting newer tourists, as 76.7% of students say they would recommend it.

Additional Information

Master of Business Administration

Item type Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1504 Services
Historical > FOR Classification > 1506 Tourism
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Faculty of Business and Law
Keywords tourism, surveys, Victoria, overseas students, travel
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