research / ACRI Facts

Chinese Tourism to Australia

January 15 2016

1. China has been the world’s number one tourism source market since 2012.[1] The total annual number of outbound Chinese tourists now exceeds 100 million,[2] leaping from 10 million in 2000.[3] Outbound numbers are expected to double to 200 million by 2020.[4]

2. At present, only six percent of China’s 1.4 billion-strong population hold a passport.[5]

3. Between 2003 and 2013, 21 million Chinese households reached an annual income level of US$35,000, which makes international travel affordable.[6] The total number of households meeting this threshold is expected to almost triple by 2023, with a further 61 million households projected to join them.[7]

4. Between 2010 and 2015, the total number of Chinese visitors to Australia more than doubled.[8]

5. China is now Australia’s top market. In 2015, spending by Chinese tourists in Australia totaled $7.7 billion[9] (about 22 percent of the country’s total international visitor spending). This compares with:[10]

- UK tourists $3.5 billion (10 percent)

- US tourists $3.1 billion (nine percent)

- New Zealand tourists $2.6 billion (seven percent)

- Japanese tourists $1.4 billion (four percent)

6. Australia’s share of China’s outbound tourism fell from 1.2 percent in 2000 to 0.8 percent now.[11] This compares with:[12]

- South Korea 4.3 percent

- Japan 1.9 percent

- US 2 percent

- Russia 0.9 percent

7. NSW is the most popular destination for Chinese tourists, with 536,000 visiting the state in 2015.[13] 456,000 Chinese visited Victoria[14] and 364,000 visited Queensland.[15]

This fact sheet was prepared by Elena Collinson, Senior Project and Research Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney.

 

Sources

[1] UN World Tourism Organisation, Media release: Over 1.1 billion tourists travelled abroad in 2014, January 27 2015 http://media.unwto.org/press-release/2015-01-27/over-11-billion-tourists-travelled-abroad-2014.

[2] China National Tourism Administration, “Top ten news of Chinese tourism industry in 2015”, January 4 2016 http://en.cnta.gov.cn/syhdp/201512/t20151224_755626.shtml.

[3] UN World Tourism Organisation, Media release: China – the new number one tourism source market in the world, April 4 2013 http://media.unwto.org/en/press-release/2013-04-04/china-new-number-one-tourism-source-market-world.

[4] CLSA, Report: Social Pressures – Chinese tourists keep exploring, January 2015.

[5] Dan Reed, “Chinese extend lead as the world’s biggest spenders on foreign travel”, Forbes, January 7 2016 http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielreed/2016/01/07/chinese-worlds-biggest-spenders-on-foreign-travel/#2715e4857a0b493c3e0543b3.

[6] Tourism Economics, “The Future of Chinese Travel”, March 2015 https://www.ihgplc.com/chinesetravel/src/pdf/IHG_Future_Chinese_Travel.pdf.

[7] Tourism Economics, “The Future of Chinese Travel”, March 2015 https://www.ihgplc.com/chinesetravel/src/pdf/IHG_Future_Chinese_Travel.pdf.

[8] Australian Bureau of Statistics, Overseas Arrivals and Departures, November 2015 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3401.0/.

[9] Tourism Research Australia, International Visitors in Australia: September 2015 quarterly results of the international visitor survey, December 12 2015 http://www.tra.gov.au/documents/ivs/International_Visitors_in_Australia_September_2015_Results_of_The_International_Visitor_Survey.html.

[10] Figures from Tourism Research Australia, International Visitors in Australia: September 2015 quarterly results of the international visitor survey, December 12 2015 http://www.tra.gov.au/documents/ivs/International_Visitors_in_Australia_September_2015_Results_of_The_International_Visitor_Survey.html.

[11] CEIC database. The latest available observation is 2013.

[12] CEIC database. The latest available observations are 2013.

[13] Destination NSW, International travel to NSW, year ending September 2015.

[14] Tourism Victoria, International visitation estimates to Victoria by origin, year ending September 2006-2015.

[15] Tourism and Events Queensland, International tourism snapshot, year ending September 2015.

Authors

Elena Collinson

Senior Project and Research Officer

Elena Collinson image