Chinese and Indian tourist arrivals in Australia jump to a record

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Chinese Tourists
Chinese tourists take pictures of each other as they pose in front of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, September 28, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Chinese and Indian tourists were arriving in Australia in record numbers. Nearly 1.4 million visitors from mainland China travelled here last year. This was a 13 percent jump from a year earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Indian tourists saw a 15 percent increase from the same year, with the number of visitors climbing to 302,900.

Commsec data shows that over 300,000 Indian citizens arrived in Down Under last year. Recording a massive 15.3 percent increase in numbers, Indian tourist arrivals are climbing at a faster percentage pace compared to China. The rate is faster than the 13.3 percent advance seen in Chinese arrivals over the same period.

But there are still more Chinese tourists than Indian tourists in Australia. Despite the faster pace of Indian tourist arrivals, they were still about 1.08 million less compared to their slightly more populous neighbour in numeric terms.

Experts are optimistic about Indian tourist arrivals. Senior economist Ryan Felsman from the securities unit of Commonwealth Bank of Australia recognised that much of the focus has been on Chinese tourism. Indian visitors, however, are arriving in droves. Felsman believes there is plenty of potential for Indian arrivals in the years to come.

India is also expected to become the fastest growing economy in the world over the next few years. The chances of travel grow as GDP per capita improves. That means a potential for Australian tourism.

As for the reasons why tourists come to Australia, Felsman pointed out that most of them are visiting family members studying in Sydney and Melbourne. Some of them visit the Bradman Museum in Bowral and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Other popular attractions in Australia, specifically in late last century, were the country’s pristine coastline, the Outback featured in the 1986 comedy “Crocodile Dundee” starring actor Paul Hogan and the Sydney Harbour. Now, Chinese tourists are exploring their horizons. There are reportedly increasing calls for direct flights between mainlands China and Hobart, the state capital.

Both China and India are seeing an increase in more affluent middle-class citizens. Because of this, Australia's clean and unique environment appeal to them. The Business Times reports Felsman as saying that they are attracted to high-quality restaurants and hotels, safe cities, fresh food, art galleries, museums and warm weather. The growth in Indian tourists is expected to become even faster in the year ahead.

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