The surge in Chinese visitors helped drive international tourism spending in Australia to a new high of $41.3 billion in 2017, an increase of 6% over the previous year, according to the latest International Visitor Survey.
Tasmania, Australia’s smallest state, once again recorded the strongest international spending growth at 32% off the back of an 18% increase in visitor numbers, bringing the total spend increase over the past three years to 90%.
However, Tasmania is coming from a low base and the state’s total visitor spend remained comparatively low at $497 million, marginally ahead of last-placed Northern Territory on $467 million.
Western Australia was the only state or territory to record a negative result.
International visitor numbers to WA fell -1% while spending droped -5% to $2.3 billion.
Spending by Chinese visitors, now the largest inbound market in terms of visitors, rose 14% during 2017, accounting for almost 25% of total expenditure at $10.4 billion.
Chinese visitors outspent those from the United States, the second biggest spending market, by almost $3 to $1 as US visitor spending in 2017 came in at $3.756 billion, up 3%.
New Zealand, the number two market in terms of visitors, ranked fourth for expenditure with spending down -8% year on year despite a 1% increase in visits.
India recorded the strongest growth of the major inbound markets with visitors spending $1.4 billion, up 16%.
Visitor numbers and spend grew strongly in NSW and Victoria, by far the two biggest states.
Expenditure in NSW rose 7% to $10.4 billion, while Victoria’s international visitor revenue grew 11% to $7.7 billion.