More tourists in Australia now come from China than New Zealand

Music to the ears of Australia’s tourism industry.
Music to the ears of Australia’s tourism industry.
Image: Reuters/David Gray
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This week, Australia’s statistics agency reported that the country received a record number of Chinese tourists. The ranks of visitors from mainland China have swelled so much that they now outnumber New Zealanders, long the top source of tourists to Australia.

Just under 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited Australia in the year to February, the latest data available. Local market watchers reckon that the annual flow of visitors from China to Australia could double over the next decade. Like in many other places, Chinese tourists spend the most of any group in Australia, bringing an economic boost to destinations that cater to their habits and tastes. (Around 40% of Chinese tourists travel on a package tour, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation.)

The rapid development of China’s economy, alongside a liberalization of travel rules, has given rise to soaring tourist numbers from the mainland. A decade ago, Chinese tourists accounted for less than 5% of global travel spending. Today, it’s approaching 25%.