SYDNEY, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese tourists accounted for one third of the rise in international visitors to Australia in 2012 and half the increase in tourist spending, according to the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) analysis of the latest International Visitor Survey released on Wednesday.
TTF, the peak industry group for the Australian tourism and transport sector, said on Wednesday figures from the International Visitor Survey (IVS) for the December quarter 2012 showed the number of visitors to Australia grew five percent in 2012, with expenditure by overseas tourists up four percent.
The IVS showed 592,000 Chinese tourists visited Australia in 2012, with their spending rising to 3.1 billion AU dollars (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) for the year.
TTF Acting Chief Executive Trent Zimmerman said the survey results tell a positive story.
"With the increase in Chinese visitation accounting for one third of the annual rise in international arrivals and half the increased spending, it shows that Chinese visitors are coming to Australia cashed up and ready to spend," Zimmerman said in a statement.
"It also helps that their currency has remained relatively steady against the Australian dollar over the past five years, while travelers from our traditional markets are paying considerably more."
He said Australia would continue benefiting from the growing number of Chinese tourists.
"With the number of Chinese people taking an overseas holiday expected to top 100 million by 2015, the signs are good for Australia to continue benefiting from this growth," he said.