As a group, visitors from China have been the biggest spenders since 2010 and spent $5.26 million as tourists in the 2013-14 financial year, a 16.3% increase from 2012-13.
But, while they only spent $1.107 million during their stays, Korean tourists are more likely to stay Down Under for an extended period, with the average tourist staying for 57 days, longer than any other national group.
The figures demonstrate that the face of Australia’s $117.2 billion tourism industry is changing.
China overtook the UK as the second-largest source of visitors to Australia in 2013 (behind New Zealand).
IBISWorld expects inbound visitor numbers to Australia to grow by 6.0% this financial year to total 7.1 million, with the majority of this growth coming from neighbouring countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore and India.
Numbers from these countries are growing at faster rates than those from Australia’s traditional inbound visitor markets, such as New Zealand, the UK, the US and Japan.
This shift has prompted the Federal Government to streamline the visa application process for Chinese nationals, a move welcomed by the National Tourism Alliance, Australia’s peak tourism body.
“In the year ending September 2014, visitors from China to Australia increased by 10% to 736,000”, said NTA CEO Juliana Payne.
“China is expected to contribute nearly one-quarter (24%) of the increase in inbound visitor arrivals over the next seven years.”