CANBERRA — Australia’s tourism boom continued in 2015 on the back of a surge in Chinese visitors, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Jan 12.
The ABS said more than one million Chinese tourists arrived in Australia during the year, setting a record.
China continues to be the fastest growing tourism market for Australia, just ahead of India.
In 2014, the ABS said 823,000 Chinese travelers flocked to Australia and that figure was pushed over the one million mark last year when a further 177,900 tourists - a 21.6 percent increase - visited the country.
Visitor arrivals from China grew three times faster than the overall increase in the past year, and their spending increased by 43 percent, doubling the previous year’s growth rate.
The surge in Chinese visitors has now made the Asian powerhouse Australia’s most valuable tourism market.
The ABS figures showed that Chinese visitors spent more than $5.4 billion annually, which included over $900 million on shopping. That figure accounted for 37 percent of all spending on shopping by international visitors to Australia.
The strong growth in visitation from China is set to continue with Tourism Research Australia forecasts estimating arrivals to double to 2 million, and their spending to grow 7 percent per year and reach $9.6 billion by 2024-2025.
Tourism has been identified by the Australian government as one of five key National Investment Priorities, leading to increased tourism infrastructure investment.
“We are really happy with the results announced this morning by the Australian Bureau of Statistics,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan told Xinhua on Jan 12.
“To get that growth out of such an important market for tourism here in Australia has just been really gratifying. But it’s not just about Tourism Australia, it’s actually about the industry.”