The flow of Chinese tourists to Australia suddenly slowed in 2018

Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Official numbers show a sudden drop in the number of Chinese travelling through Sydney Airport.

In January the numbers fell 26.4%. The previous month, Chinese visitors increased 9.9%.

The airport pointed to the impact of the Chinese New Year, a traditional holiday time for families to get together in China, coming early this year.

“Sydney Airport’s international passenger traffic growth of 1.4% was a good result, given the impact of the Lunar New Year timing change from January in 2017 to February in 2018,” says Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert.

Overall, passenger traffic grew 1.4% over the 12 months to January to 3.878 million.

Here’s Sydney’s Airport’s chart of its top 10 nationalities passing through, led by Australians.

Source: Sydney Airport

Indian tourists are also flocking to Australia in record numbers, with about 300,000 coming last year.

But in December alone more than 116,000 Chinese tourists came.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.