The data showed that visitors to Australia spent a record 39.1 billion Australian dollars in 2016, with about a quarter of that figure coming from Chinese tourists.
In a statement following the release of the International Visitor Survey numbers, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said tourism is on its way to being one of the country’s most vital economic assets.
“Spending by international visitors to Australia has now grown by more than 35 percent in the last three years — supporting Australian jobs and the broader Australian economy,” he said.
These numbers come during the China-Australia Year of Tourism, a celebration of the relationship between the two countries. Several events are planned throughout 2017 in order to bring Australia and China closer together.
Australia is also working to prepare for an expected increase in Chinese visitors, adding approximately 1,000 new hotel rooms to market to huge investments from Chinese entrepreneurs.
On top of the rise in Australia’s visitor expenditure figures, the increase in Chinese visitors has greatly helped local retailers. According to the Deloitte Access Economics Retail Forecasts report, retail spending from Chinese tourists accounted for 1.05 billion US dollars.
Deloitte Access Economics partner David Rumbens was the lead author of the report and said that number was set to quadruple within the next decade.
“Chinese tourism is a significant contributor to the sector,” he said.
Recently, Australia expanded its 10-year visitor visa to Chinese citizens, while respective authorities signed an ‘open skies agreement’ that removed aircraft capacity restrictions on the lucrative China-Australia routes in anticipation of increased demands.