China overtook New Zealand as the leading source of visitors to Australia in 2018, according to new data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In 2018, people from China made 1.43 million short-term visits to Australia, up six percent on 2017.
ABS director of Migration Statistics, Myles Burleigh, said Australia was an increasingly popular destination for Chinese residents.
“We have seen extremely strong growth in visits from China in recent times. In 2008, there were 353,000 visitors from China, so the number has more than tripled in the last 10 years,” Mr Burleigh said.
“Ten years before that, in 1998, there were only 77,000 visits by people from China”.
New Zealand was beaten into second place, with 1.38 million visits in 2018.
New Zealand had been the leading country for visitors to Australia since 1999, when it took over from Japan.
Japan is now the fifth-largest source of visitors to Australia, behind the USA and the UK.
New Zealand remained the top destination for Australians travelling overseas, followed by Indonesia.
In total, there were 42.1 million movements across Australia’s borders in 2018. The busiest day on Australia’s borders in 2018 was Saturday 22 December, while the least busy day was Tuesday, 22 May.
Further details can be found in Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (cat. no. 3401.0) available for download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au .
Photograph: Kimbolton Wines in Langhorne Creek.