Travel to Australia is about to become easier for Chinese tourists, with trial of ten year multiple entry visas for China soon to begin. Speaking at a tourism summit in Canberra, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he and China President Xi Jinping had agreed to make 2017 the “Australia-China Year of Tourism”.
“We are working to improve the competitiveness of the Australian visa system, including by trialling 10-year multiple entry visitor visas for China,” Mr Turnbull said.
Visitors from China are the second largest group among international arrivals to this country. They are also one of the highest spending, injecting $8.3 billion into the Australian economy last year. That figure is estimated to grow up to $13 billion by 2020.
“China is already our number one market by value and it is about to become our number one market by volume,” Mr Turnbull said. “That is no mean feat given the highly competitive nature of the market, with 190 national tourism organisations competing for international visitors.”
A spokesman for Mr Turnbull told SBS News, the Australian trial would begin “soon”. Tourism Australia declined to comment on the trial ahead of its official launch.
The visas were first announced in June, 2015 and holders would be required to leave the country regularly to keep the visa valid. China has introduced similar arrangements with the United States, Canada and Israel.