Western Australia increasingly popular with visitors from China

by Ray Clancy on January 24, 2018

in Australia Travel

It is well known that the Chinese love Australia with places like Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef attracting more visitors from the country than ever before.

But they also love Western Australia with new figures showing that China has overtaken the UK as the state’s biggest international market in terms of visitor spend for the first time.


The latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) from Tourism Research Australia shows 57,000 Chinese people visited Western Australia in the 12 months to the end of September 2017 and spent $272 million.

During the same period Western Australia welcomed 143,000 visitors from the UK who spent $257 million during their stay.

There were also more visitors from other parts of the world overall in Western Australia. The number of tourists from the United States increased by 19.7%, those from China rose 17.3%, from Indonesia there was a 12.8% rise and those from Malaysia were up 12.7%.

But the number of visitors from New Zealand declined strongly, down by 13.7% and those from the UK were down by 4.5%.

Most people visit Perth with the city seeing 95% of visitors, while 18% visit the state’s south west coast, 9% the coral coast, 7% the north west of the state and 5% the golden outback.

Overall spending by international visitors was slightly down by 0.4% on the same period in the previous year but not in Western Australia. The number of international visitors to the state increased from 921,400 to 947,200.

Experts say that the reason that visitor numbers are up is due to the type of visitor Western Australia is attracting. A Tourism Western Australia spokesman said that there are more leisure visitors and less employment related visitors.

The holiday segment saw a 3.2% increase in visitors to 465,700. However there was a 25.4% fall in working holiday makers and Western Australia was one of only two states to see numbers fall. Working holiday makers also fell by 0.8% in South Australia.

The spokesman said that it could be that Western Australia’s economic climate means there are less opportunities available for working holiday makers compared to other states.

Those visiting friends and family increased by 2.5% to 403,100 visitors but this was well behind a national rise of 7.2% in Australia as a whole. Those visiting to study also increased, up by 7.6% to 49,200, but again lower than the average national growth of 14.4%.

The figures also show that people arriving in Western Australia for business was stable with a slight rise of 0.8% to 101,100 visitors.

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