China is about to become Australia's biggest tourist market

Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Australia’s tourism sector is reaping the rewards from an Aussie dollar in the mid 70 cent region with the latest Bureau of statistics data showing a record 693,000 short-term visitors arrived in June.

Australia is first choice among tourists from China for their next holiday. So amid that overall surge in tourists to Australia, the number of Chinese visitors is climbing at the fastest rate of any nation.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) economists Alexandre Veroude and Tony Morriss say that after Chinese tourism grew 23% in 2015-16 they “see a similar growth rate achievable this financial year, due to increased aviation capacity between Australia and China and changes to visa requirements”.

That means “China [will] overtake New Zealand and become Australia’s largest arrivals market this financial year,” Veroude and Morriss said.

Better yet for the Australian economy, Chinese tourists spend more than tourists from other nations according to BAML.

“Tourists from China have the highest average expenditure per visitor of any other major market; spending around A$3000 more on average per trip,” the pair said.

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