SYDNEY, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese tourists have named Australia as their most desired overseas holiday destination but are choosing the United States as their No. 1 actual visited destination, a new survey revealed on Tuesday.
The Hotels.com survey of 3,000 Chinese international travelers found that Australia beat France, New Zealand, the United States and Switzerland as number one on their wish list, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
However, the United States, China's Hong Kong, and Thailand were the top three actual destinations followed by Japan, France, Britain, Italy, South Korea, China's Taiwan and Malaysia. Australia ranked 11th.
Hotels.com's regional director Katherine Cole says Australia has what Chinese travelers are looking for in a holiday destination -- safety, historical and heritage sites, as well as good food. And most importantly, Australia was rated as the most welcoming towards Chinese visitors.
"In a lot of cases, hotel chains are putting in Mandarin- speaking staff, or providing the Chinese newspaper, translating menus, ensuring that Chinese breakfast is available as 95 percent of Chinese actually eat in hotel when they travel," she said.
Cole says this high interest among Chinese to visit Australia provides a major opportunity for Australian tourism.
"With 97 million Chinese travelers every year, and only 750,000 coming to Australia, it really is demonstrating the opportunity for growth that is available," she said.
Tourism Australia's managing director John O'Sullivan said the desire for visiting Australia needed to be converted into actual visits, especially from China's new and fast-growing travel-loving middle class.
"For us it's as much about quality as it is quantity. We are targeting high yield Chinese travelers, who are more likely to stay longer, travel deeper into our country and spend more by doing so," he said.
Cole says Australia's long distance from China poses a challenge for the tourism industry and there needed to be enough seat capacity on flights to Australia to keep fares affordable.
"Accessibility is key, and it has to be not too costly, and when you look at longer haul destinations you tend to get a higher cost," she said.