Australian Tourism Industry Picks Up! Thanks to the Chinese, Indians

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 6, 2013 3:28 PM EST

Latest data released by the Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday showed Australia's tourism industry peaked in the last decade, all thanks to the growing number of Chinese and Indians touring the country Down Under.

In the ten years to 2012, the number of Chinese nationals who visited Australia grew to 630,000 from 200,000, while visits from Indian nationals were recorded to have risen to 160,000 from 45,000 in the same period.

Still on a country basis, Nez Zealand still tops the number of visitors flocking Australia, at 1.2 million, followed by China, the UK, the US and Japan.

Overall for 2012, Australia's overseas arrivals continued to improve, growing seven per cent versus a year ago. Total overseas arrivals to Australia reached 6.1 million short-term visitors in 2012, which incidentally were led by many Asian markets, the Bureau of Statistics said.

The popular areas to see for these short-term visitors were New South Wales, followed by Queensland and Victoria.

"Despite a high Australian dollar, Australia's short-term visitor numbers were up by nearly 5 per cent since 2011, with 6.1 million short trips made to Australia - 270,000 more than we saw in 2011," Neil Scott, ABS assistant director of demography, said.

Visits by Chinese nationals to Australia in 2012 jumped 16 per cent, while those from Malaysia grew 9 per cent, from Singapore by 8 per cent and from India by over 7 per cent. In December 2012 alone, Chinese and Japanese visitors rose 13 per cent and seven per cent, respectively.

Compared to 2011, the number of overall international visitors last year increased by 270,500, representing a five per cent uptick.

"The significant growth of overseas visitor arrivals in December gives the Australian tourism industry cause for optimism with strong growth continuing from Asian markets," Martin Ferguson, Minister for Tourism, said in a statement.

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