Australia will benefit from increasing Chinese tourism through a new pilot ten year visitor visa announced today.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the agreement will allow more Chinese visitors to come and experience all that Australia has to offer while simultaneously providing immense benefits to Australia.

"Australia is a diverse and unique destination for international travellers and the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring we capitalise on our tourism opportunities," Mr Dutton said.

A landmark Free Trade Agreement with China was signed today by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb and his counterpart Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng.

Mr Robb said that this will provide an enormous boost to tourism.

"Chinese travellers are growing exponentially and it is estimated that by 2020, more than 200 million Chinese people will be travelling to destinations including Australia," Mr Robb said.

"Increased visitor numbers in Australia translates into significant benefits for Australians and our economy. China is our largest source of tourism, already worth over $5 billion to the Australian economy."

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaela Cash said this announcement built on the Coalition Government’s initiatives to realise the enormous potential that exists within the Chinese market.

"In terms of visa volume, processing speed and integrity outcomes, Australia is highly competitive," Minister Cash said.

"The Government continues to progress the roll-out of online visa lodgements for Chinese nationals, in an effort to reduce unnecessary red tape whilst at the same time ensuring we maintain the integrity of our visa programmes."

"It is essential that Australia remains at the cutting edge of innovation and is competitive in attracting tourists from our region – we must not forget that here is immense competition from other destinations."

Further information on the Visitor Visa Programme and longer validity visas can be found at www.immi.gov.au.

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555