Chinese visitors are driving almost all of the growth in tourist trips to Australia

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Earlier today we discovered that short-term visitor arrivals to Australia surged to a record high in February.

602,800 people arrived over just 28 days, an increase of 22,200 on the month. Huge numbers.

And over 92% of the monthly increase came from just one country, China.

86,600 Chinese arrived in February, 31% higher than that seen in January. Not only was this a record high, but it smashed the previous record for arrivals, set in October 2014, by 9,600.

Just check out the chart below. It shows Chinese short term visitor arrivals in the year to February 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and finally, 2015, the data out today.

From 1995 to 2015, just 20 years ago, arrivals have grown by 842,100, or 2,682%. Even compared to five years ago when 359,600 Chinese visitors arrived, the numbers seen this year exceeded this figure by 513,900, or 143%.

The growth is amazing, and accelerating. At this pace China will replace New Zealand as Australia’s largest source of short term arrivals in just a few years.

It’s clear where the future for Australia’s tourism sector lies.

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