Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said new data showing record numbers of international visitors to Australia in 2013-14, especially from Asia, underlined the strength of our tourism offer.

The data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that short-term visitor arrivals increased 8 per cent to a record of 6.6 million in 2013-14.

The number of arrivals from China, Australia’s most valuable market worth over $5 billion, increased by 12 per cent to a record 759,800 arrivals.

Other key Asian markets such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore also saw strong growth, rising 25 per cent, 17 per cent, and 16 per cent, respectively, while India increased by 15 per cent.

Mr Robb said the tourism and hospitality sectors were to be congratulated for the energy they are putting into attracting increasing numbers of international visitors.

“Tourism is one of our great strengths but we need to keep actively pursuing the opportunities while investing in infrastructure that meets growing demand,” he said.

“If you look at China for example, in 2013 some100 million Chinese visitors went on an international holidays and by 2020 this figure is expected to reach 200 million.”

The Abbott Government is targeting its efforts to ensure we are strongly positioned to capitalise on rising demand by providing:

  • $43 million for a new Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Program.
  • $143.3 million to Tourism Australia, our national marketing agency, with a renewed focus on key markets such as China.
  • $10 million in new funding for the Australia-China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme, which requires Inbound Tour Operators to further improve the visitor experiences offered to Chinese tourists.
  • $2 million to support the staging of the successful Australia Week in China (AWIC) again in 2016, with tourism promotion a key component.

The government has also identified tourism infrastructure as one of five National Investment Priorities.

Mr Robb said the government’s ‘open for business’ approach to new investment is already generating new international enthusiasm in our tourism sector.

“There are some very positive developments, including reports that major Chinese companies and others are considering new projects across Australia worth $20 billion at the quality end of the market,” he said.

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