The number of Hong Kong tourists to Australia increased by 17 per cent last year. Nearly 167,000 made a trip Down Under compared with only 50,000 in 1990. Visitors from China boomed by 32 per cent and that market is predicted to grow to 250,000 within 10 years. Growing numbers of Australians are also visiting Hong Kong. Nearly 300,000 arrived last year. 'More than 400,000 people moving between the two destinations every year has created a dynamic and diverse relationship,' Australian Consul-General Geoff Walsh said. The explosion in tourism from the territory is reflected elsewhere in the region, most notably Japan (the largest single source of foreign tourists) and Korea, with numbers booming by 38 per cent last year. It has fuelled a multi-billion-dollar tourism industry. More than 1.3 million Asian tourists visited Australia last year and analysts expect that number to reach 2.4 million by 2001. By then, tourist revenue is predicted to contribute more to the economy than coal, which is the biggest export earner. Tourism spending already accounts for seven per cent of Australia's revenue and, by the time Sydney hosts the 2000 Olympics, the number of jobs generated by the industry is forecast to exceed 700,000. But Australia still has a long way to go to cater for Asian shoppers, according to a new survey by the Bureau of Tourism Research. It found one-third of 'shopaholic' Asian tourists polled were disappointed by the restrictive shopping hours imposed on shops in Australia.