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Booming Chinese tourism market injects $3.8b into our economy

Chinese tourists now make up the fastest-growing segment of in-bound tourism for Australia.

The nation’s travellers added more than $3.8 billion to our economy in 2011 – up 15% on 2010.

“In 2011, 542,000 Chinese travellers visited Australia, making China the third-largest market of travellers to Australia and the largest source market for economic value. Chinese travellers are extremely important to the Australian tourism industry and our economy more broadly,” Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson says.

As part of its China 2020 strategy, Tourism Australia is targeting residents of lesser-known Chinese cities including Shenzhen (population 13 million), Tianjin (12 million), Suzhou (11.7 million) and Hangzhou (8.7 million) as potential tourists.

"We plan to … educate the Australian tourism industry to capitalise on the anticipated strong growth in the middle and upper classes [who] can afford and want to travel long-haul outside of China," Tourism Australia’s managing director Andrew McEvoy says.

The tourism body says the first step is on-the-ground “trade engagement” – or getting travel agents to sell trips to Australia – in the big Chinese before consumer-based advertising can start.

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