Garry Shilson-Josling, AAP Economist
(Australian Associated Press)
The annual number of Chinese visitors venturing to Australian shores has topped one million for the first time.
There were 93,700 short-term traveller arrivals from China in November, bringing the annual total to 1,013,700, up by 172,500 from the previous year, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday showed.
And that’s not even including Hong Kong, which delivered 220,000 visitors to Australia in the past year.
Including the former British colony, the annual total was 1,233,700.
That was still short of New Zealand, with 1,302,000 visitors to Australia over the year to November.
But the positions have reversed in recent months, with more visitors from China including Hong Kong in September, October and November last year.
So on current trends, China will soon claim top spot from the Kiwis on an annual basis as well.
Overall, there were 642,8700 visitors arrivals in November, up by 66,500 or 11.5 per cent from a year earlier, with an annual total of 7.36 million.
Australian resident departures still beat arrivals by a wide margin, with nearly 9.4 million Aussies succumbing to wanderlust.
But the lower Australian dollar is helping to reduce the difference, with arrivals up by nearly half a million in the past year from the previous 12 months, compared with a rise of only just over 300,000 for departures.
VISITOR ARRIVALS TO AUSTRALIA – 12 MONTHS TO NOVEMBER
* New Zealand: 1,302,000
* China Including Hong Kong: 1,233,700
– China: 1,013,700
– Hong Kong: 220,000
* United Kingdom: 679,200
* USA: 599,300
* Singapore: 389,000
* Malaysia: 335,400
* Japan: 331,500
* India: 231,000
* South Korea: 222,800
* Germany: 189,300