Tourism Down Under is up and over

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 3:55am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 September, 2014, 3:55am

The number of Hong Kong and mainland tourists heading to Australia hit record highs in the 12 months to June, new figures show.

And when they do head Down Under, they are spending more than ever before on each visit.

In the 12 months to June this year, the number of mainland tourists increased 12 per cent to a record high of 760,000 while the number of Hong Kong tourists was up 17 per cent to 198,000.

Each mainland tourist, on average, forked out A$4,457 (HK$32,300) per visit, up 15 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Hong Kong tourists spent about A$3,762 (HK$27,200) per person on each visit, up 7 per cent, figures showed

While New Zealanders account for the highest number of tourists to Australia with more than one million every year, mainland Chinese tourists outspend them, bringing in about A$5.3 billion annually. The mainland is also Australia's fastest growing tourism area.

Hong Kong comes ninth in terms of the number of tourists to Australia and 10th when it comes to average spending.

Yesterday, Tourism Australia launched a new partnership with Hong Kong's restaurant review platform Open Rice to market its food and wine industries.

Seven celebrities will travel to Australia this month and review about 100 places which will be published on Open Rice.

Tony Everett, Greater China manager for Tourism Australia, said the campaign aims to fill the perception gap. "Our research shows that before people from Hong Kong come to Australia, they are not quite sure what to expect of our food and wine," he said. "But after they visit us, they rate us alongside destinations like France and Italy."