People, Travel

Aussie Tourism Enjoying Best Year Since 2000

Aussie Tourism Enjoying Best Year Since 2000Aussie Tourism Enjoying Best Year Since 2000

Australia’s tourism industry has recorded its best year since the Sydney Olympics, with international visitors spending a mammoth $91 million a day.

Chinese tourists accounted for more than a fifth of that expenditure, parting with $19 million a day, or $7 billion for the year, Aussie website reported.

Australia’s Federal Tourism Minister Andrew Robb said the latest International Visitor Survey showed the total spending had grown 10% to $33.4 billion, or $3.2 billion more than the previous year.

He said it was the strongest yearly growth since 2000, the period of the Sydney Games.

“Today’s result once again demonstrates that tourism is one of our greatest strengths,” said Robb.

“Tourism can be our fastest growing sector this decade if we continue to leverage our ‘clean, green and safe’ brand to position ourselves as the number one, long-haul destination in Asia.”

China remained the dominant source of growth with a 22% increase in visitor numbers to 864,000 and a 32% rise in expenditure.

 “With China now accounting for one in every $5 spent by international visitors, it is clear that China is vital to the sustained growth of our tourism sector,” Robb said.

University of Technology Sydney tourism researcher, Deborah Edwards, said there was no great formula for attracting Chinese visitors, now travelling the world in the millions.

“The Chinese visitor is looking for an immersive experience. They want to engage with Australians … they want to experience how Australians live,” said Edwards.

“That’s no different really to what we want when we travel.”

Record growth in visitors was also achieved by the US market—up 9% to 544,000, and New Zealand, up 3% to 1.2 million arrivals.

“With new records for international tourism, growth in spend not seen since the Sydney Olympic Games and a reinvigorated tourism investment pipeline, the Australian tourism industry is well positioned to prosper as one of our great economic strengths,” said Robb.