Australia introduces 3 year multiple-entry visa to attract Chinese tourists
Australia is hoping to attract more Chinese visitors to give a boost to the economy, thanks to a change in tourist visas.
After nearly 3 decades in business – Aviva Lacey knows what tourists want. Especially visitors from China which the Sydney shop owner says – are on the rise.
“Now they are independent travellers, they are relaxed, and they are travelling at their own pace,” Lacey said.
Tourism Australia agrees the number of independent visitors from China is growing – moving away from more traditional tours.
It believes the introduction of a 3-year, multiple-entry visitor visa for Chinese tourist will help Australia claim an even bigger piece of an increasingly profitable market.
“Competition in China is fierce at the moment. Our biggest competitors from the Chinese market would be the United States and the UK and continental Europe – they tend to be the big 3 long-haul destinations that Chinese travellers will go to on their first long-haul overseas trip,” said Tim Jones, from Tourism Australia.
Australia’s visa changes put it more in line with other countries – which have also added more flexibility and time to their visas.
The move is also aimed at increasing the number of repeat visitors – those people who come back for views like this – because studies show they tend to stay longer the second or third time around and – more importantly – spend more.
Chinese visitors spent almost 5-and-a-half-billion-dollars here last year alone.
“When they are in this area they are going to have a cup of tea, they are going to have a meal, they might have some entertainment, they might go to a show, so tourism across the board is important,” Lacey said.
The challenge for tourism officials is to capitalise on China’s fast growing and fast changing market.
“Over 100 million Chinese travelled overseas last year – by 2020 that will probably be in excess of 200 million, 220 million,” Jones said.
And tourism officials say there is nothing to indicate that growth will slow anytime soon.