International tourists spent more than 41.3 billion Australian dollars (32 billion US dollars) in Australia last year, with a quarter of that amount coming from Chinese visitors, the government said Wednesday.Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said the figure represented an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year and an additional 2.2 billion dollars to the economy. The latest figures from the Australian government’s International Visitors’ Survey show some 8.1 million overseas tourists visited Down Under last year, an increase of 6 per cent compared to 2016.
The largest group of visitors by country were from China. Their number increased from 1.11 million to 1.25 million within a year. They alone spent 10.4 billion dollars, a 14 percent increase on 2016.
Visitor numbers from India, as well as the money they spent, recorded the strongest growth, with both increasing by 16 per cent 2017. The island of Tasmania enjoyed the strongest growth in the country, with spending by international tourists surging 31 per cent during the year and up 90 per cent over the past three years, according to the government data.
Three million tourists visited the Sydney Opera House, the top destination in Australia for overseas visitors, while 2.7 million visited the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Outside Sydney, 842,000 overseas visitors toured the Great Barrier Reef and 192,000 visited the iconic Uluru rock formation in the Australian outback.