The tourism market has always been one of the biggest contributors to the Australian economy, but could the most lucrative sector in the nation soon be about to change shape? According to one report, there will soon be a new powerhouse when it comes to providing visitor numbers to the nation.
For many years, New Zealanders have been the most prominent visitors to the nation thanks to the close proximity and ease of travel to Australia. However, looking forward this could be changing, with Chinese tourists apparently set to overtake New Zealanders.
The government's official Tourism Research Australia's Tourism Forecasts 2015 report states that within the course of the next five years we will see the number of Chinese visitors surpassing the volume of New Zealand based tourists.
It said that in the next few years, the pace of increase in visitor numbers from China, India and Malaysia is expected to outpace the global average rate of growth, and even though the Chinese economy is not as strong as it once was, it is still expected to become the largest provider of tourists to Australia.
"Similarly, the economic growth of Australia's leading Western tourism markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand is expected to exceed the average rate of growth forecast for advanced economies as well," said the organisation's general manager Janice Wykes.
"Inbound tourism demand is likely to remain strong for the next few years."
The rise in the number of Asian tourists is set to come at the same time as the overall visitor numbers to Australia rise very quickly. For example, in this current financial year, there is expected to be an increase of 9.5 per cent in the number of people coming to Australia.
However, even at this moment in time, Chinese tourists are the quickest growing demographic, with the volume of visitors from the nation predicted to climb by 15.5 per cent in the same time period.