People, Travel

Chinese, Indian Travelers Driving Australian Tourism

Chinese, Indian Travelers Driving Australian Tourism
Chinese, Indian Travelers Driving Australian Tourism

A strong rise in the number of tourists from China, Hong Kong and India contributed to 6.5% growth in international arrivals to Australia in August.

Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest report shows the number of short-term arrivals from China, Hong Kong and India all rose by 16% in August which, compared with 7% from the United Kingdom, 5.5% from New Zealand and 2.2% from the United States.

On a rolling 12-month basis, the number of arrivals has also increased by 6.5% to 7.18 million, Australia Financial Review reported.

“There’s plenty of positives to take out of these numbers, notably China and India, where the work our industry has put in during recent years to target the two countries’ burgeoning middle classes is undoubtedly now paying dividends,” Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, said.

Tourism Australia expects growth from the Chinese market will continue to be strong and is forecasting a 20% jump in arrivals during the weeklong Mid-Autumn Festival that ends this Thursday.

ANZ chief economist, Warren Hogan, has estimated Chinese tourists accounted for 7% of all growth in the Australian economy in the year to June 30.

The tourism marketing group is now planning to focus on Australia’s aquatic and coastal beauty to help build further demand from international tourists. Filming on its latest campaign started last week in Katherine, Northern Territory and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

China and India are also targeted by Iranian tourism officials.

The Chinese economy is estimated to be worth $17.6 trillion by the International Monetary Fund, making it the world’s largest economy. It is not surprising then that countries worldwide seek Chinese tourists.

Experts estimate that by 2020, outbound mainland tourist numbers will reach 200 million, double the 100 million who left China in 2013.

World Travel Organization reported that Chinese travelers spent $165 billion in 2014; a 28% increase compared to the previous year. The figure is expected to triple by 2020.

A growing economy, India is also marked by global tourism heavyweights. Experts believe Iran must capitalize on its longstanding good relations with the South Asian state to strike deals facilitating travel between the two countries.

Times of India reported in August that Goa Tourism Department is working toward attracting Iranian tourists.

Given the two ancient countries’ interest in doing business with one another, it may not be farfetched to expect the announcement of a tourism deal between the two states. Ebrahim Pourfaraj, the head of Iranian Tour Operators’ Association, said last year India was added to a list of target countries that includes the likes of China and Russia.