China is on the verge of becoming Australia’s largest source of international visitor arrivals, closing to within a whisker of surpassing New Zealand for the title in the 12 months to August.
According to the ABS, short-term arrivals from China rose to 1,334,900 over the year in seasonally adjusted terms, up a giddying 12.2% from the year to August 2016.
In comparison, total short-term arrivals from New Zealand stood at 1,356,200, an increase of 2.6% from 12 months earlier.
If arrivals from Hong Kong are included, China already is the largest source of short-term arrivals to Australia at 1,605,000.
Largely reflecting the boom in Chinese visitors, total short-term arrivals jumped to 8,699,100 over the past 12 months, the highest level on record.
That represents a 8.8% increase on the year to August 2016.
In August alone, Chinese short-term visitor arrivals rose to 126,900, well ahead of second-placed New Zealand at 113,200.
The Chinese figure was up 27.9% from a year earlier, and was the highest level on record.