Australian records 8.5 million overseas arrivals in 2018, increase in Chinese FIT travellers

    Australia‘s Government reported (30-Mar-2019) China remained the top inbound market in 2018, with 1.3 million visitors (+5% year-on-year) spending AUD11.7 billion (USD8.3 billion), an increase of 13% year-on-year. India continued to be the strongest performing market having recorded double digit spending growth each year since 2014. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham commented: “Asia presents an enormous tourism opportunity for Australia thanks to the region’s huge emerging middle class, ever improving aviation capacity and increasingly competitive airfares… Within the Chinese market specifically, we are also seeing a noticeable shift towards Free and Independent Travellers (FIT), who are more likely to stay longer, spend more and disperse more widely across regional Australia”.