MELBOURNE, Australia – More Chinese tourists than British are visiting Australia despite strong Australian dollar.
New Zealanders still take first place, comprising almost 20% of the country’s 5.8 million international visitors in the year to March, but an increasing number of holidaymakers are coming from Asia, Tourism Research Australia figures show.
The biggest growth came from China, with visitor numbers increasing by 17%, followed by Singapore on 13 per cent, then Malaysia and Taiwan both on 12%.
American and Indian tourist numbers both rose by seven percent, despite the Australian dollar holding parity with the greenback.
However, the number of UK visitors has fallen by three percent.
Tourism Research Australia chief economist Leo Jago says the five per cent annual increase in the number of overseas tourists showed the high Australian dollar wasn’t an impediment.
“Results like these are clear indications of the ongoing growth of the Asian market, and continuing recovery of some of the traditional markets,” he said in a statement.
Half of all overseas tourists went to NSW, followed by Queensland with 35%.
About 50% of visitors came for a holiday, a quarter visited relatives, while 16% traveled for business.