Spending by Asian visitors in Australia has for the first time reached $10 billion in a year, with Chinese visitors accounting for 35 per cent of that expenditure, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) analysis of new tourism data.
Tourism Research Australia has today released the International Visitor Survey for the year ending September 2013, showing Chinese visitor spending rose 17 per cent to $3.5 billion, pushing overall international visitor spending in Australia up 4 per cent to $19.2 billion.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the International Visitor Survey shows Australia’s growing reliance on Asian visitation.
“Asian visitors account for more than half of all spending by international visitors in Australia, which underlines the economic opportunity those markets represent,” Mr Morrison said.
“Spending by Chinese visitors continues to spearhead the growth, jumping 17 per cent for the year, after rising 11 per cent over the previous 12 months.
“This demonstrates that Tourism Australia’s expansion strategy in China is the right move, and that increasing investment in attracting Chinese visitors can deliver significant benefits for Australia, helping tourism fulfil its potential as an economic development strategy for Australia, providing jobs and business opportunities across the country.
“We can also maximise the opportunity of Asian visitation by continuing to improve our visa application processes and through continuing federal government support of the Asia Marketing Fund.
“However, it’s vital to maintain our presence in our traditional markets as well, with spending by US visitors up 10 per cent to $1.4 billion for the year and European visitor spending rising 7 per cent to $4.5 billion showing the continuing recovery of those economies.
“We also face the challenge of facilitating regional dispersal as the profile of international visitors changes, with 83 per cent of spending occurring in our capital cities and the Gold Coast.
“Opening up working holiday maker visas to our key growth markets of China, India and Vietnam, and lifting the cap for applicants from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand can help in this regard as we seek to further broaden our engagement with Asia.”