Chinese tourist arrivals growing faster than forecasted

Chinese tourists will be Australia’s leading source of visitors by 2017-18, two years earlier than previously predicted – and that previous prediction was from only 8 months ago! That is just one of the many amazing statistics coming out of the latest Tourism Forecasts, which were released on Thursday. Here are some other impressive numbers from Tourism Research Australia’s latest report:

  • In 2014-2015, 13 out of every 100 international tourists visiting Australia were Chinese. By 2024-2025, just over 1 in 4 international visitors to Australia will be Chinese (26%).
  • China alone is expected to contribute 43% of the growth in arrivals over the 10-year period from 2014-15 to 2024-25.
  • Even more staggering, 60% of the increase in expenditure in this period is estimated to be due to Chinese tourists.


As China’s middle class grows, so too does the number of Chinese who venturing abroad – with Australia always a popular destination. Chinese visitor numbers to Australia overtook US arrivals in 2010-11 and UK arrivals in 2012-13. Now only our neighbours across the ditch stand in the way of China being our largest source of visitors. And you can bet that won’t last for long! The rate at which the China has surged to the top of the list of Australia’s major sources of international visitors is truly amazing, as the chart below shows.



As we all know, Chinese tourists are some of the biggest spenders when in Australia, and the Forecasts suggest this is set to continue. In fact, by 2024-25, expenditure by Chinese visitors is expected to be greater than our next 10 largest markets combined (United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Germany). I’ll let that one sink in for a bit!

 Rank  Country $ million
1 China 27 499
2 United States 5 296
3 United Kingdom 4 206
4 New Zealand 3 427
5 India 2 583
6 Japan 2 183
7 South Korea 1 995
8 Singapore 1 939
9 Malaysia 1 710
10 Hong Kong 1 680
11 Germany 1 287


I guess the real question is, can these forecasts hold up? Given the previous estimates from November 2015 have already been proven to have been too conservative, my money is on the same thing occurring again. But regardless, the important message is that Chinese are rapidly gaining an appetite for travel to Australia, they’re spending big money, and businesses here need to be ready!

Want to get ready for Chinese tourists now? Contact us today for a free consultation.

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