The latest Australian tourism data demonstrates the boon Chinese visitors are creating for the national economy. The Barr government should do as much as possible to bring that Chinese spending to Canberra, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Arts Brendan Smyth said today.

“Tourism Research Australia data released today shows that nationally Chinese tourist spending increased 43 percent to $7.7 billion in the year ending September 2015, compared to the previous year. The Chinese market accounts for 22 percent of total trip spend, up from 7 percent in 2006. This is a boom that Canberra needs to take advantage of,” Mr Smyth said.

“While international visitor numbers and spending increased in the ACT in the year ending in September; NSW, Victoria and Queensland recorded far greater proportional increases and a lot of that has to be down to the surge of Chinese visitors.

“The government needs to seriously think about how to market Canberra to Chinese tourists because an increase in visitors to Canberra means more opportunities for local businesses which would then flow on to the rest of the economy.

“I’m sure many prospective tourists from China would relish the opportunity to visit Canberra, take in our bush setting, national institutions and atmosphere. We just have to play our part to encourage them to come here,” Mr Smyth concluded.