Chinese tourists have now overtaken New Zealanders as the majority nationality of visitors to Australia, a study from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported.
The report found that the Chinese market has experienced as much as 11 per cent growth over the past year (as of May), a rise which has seen China become Australia’s number one source of tourists.
The news comes as the seventh airline from China prepares to launch flights to Australia. Beijing Capital Airlines, one of the country’s biggest carriers, is to begin offering direct flights between Sydney and Qingdao, the home of the popular Tsingtao Beer. The airline will operate the route with a frequency of four flights per week.
The Sydney Morning Herald has predicted that the influx of travellers from mainland China on holiday in Australia will triple by 2026 to around 3.3 million tourists per year.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, noted that more than 1.2million people from China visited Australia last year.
“This is a market that moves at speed and scale like we’ve never seen before. By 2020, we think that 42 per cent of all visitors to Australia will come from mainland China,” he said.
Flights to Oz are more readily available than ever for the travel-hungry Chinese market, and when coupled with a boom in the country’s rapidly expanding middle class, all the conditions are present for more Chinese tourists than ever before to be able to enjoy the delights to be found Down Under.
From unique natural wonders – and truly unique wildlife wandering amongst them – to iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Great Ocean Road, the many draws are obvious!