Australia woos Chinese with new incentives

Australia intends to significantly increase its Chinese visitors following the China-Australia Year of Tourism on Feb 5.

The incentives are in addition to the recently introduced enticements for Chinese to visit Oz, such as increased flights, 10-year visas and a Chinese-language online visa-application system.

China is Australia’s most valuable inbound-tourism market, with Australia’s tourism authority estimating its value to exceed AU$13 billion ($9.96 billion) by 2020. Australia has been gaining popularity among Chinese visitors just over a year ago, they surpassed New Zealand to become the top spenders Down Under, to the tune of $21 million a day. Last year, 1.2 million Chinese visitors spent over $9 billion, up 18 percent compared with the previous year.

Australia has also launched initiatives to expand two-way tourism arrivals, offering 10-year multi-entry visas to Chinese on a trial basis, and allows up to three-months per stay.

Chinese visitors no longer need to visit visa centers, thanks to the new Chinese application website.Additionally, a recent agreement removes all capacity restrictions for both sides’ airlines. Qantas Airways opened a new direct flight from Beijing on Jan. 26, with flights to Australia on the new route timed to connect with its network to popular destinations, such as Melbourne and Brisbane.