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Large amount of Chinese tourists is changing Australia's retail industry

Earlier this year Tourism Australia reported that the country's annual Chinese visitor arrivals had reached one million for the first time. Now, it seems that this influx of tourism from China is having an influence on Australia's retail industry.

As the world has been celebrating Chinese New Year, it's perhaps unsurprising that there has been an increase of Chinese-themed retail gifts in Australia, but Business Insider Australia (BIA) has said that tourists from China have been spending between $7 billion (£3.4 billion) to $8 billion (£3.9 billion) into the Australian economy.

This injection of money and investment into Australia has been helping the country "pick up the slack" from the downturn in its once-lucrative mining industry.

Although tourists from New Zealand are travelling to Australia in greater numbers, it seems that Chinese visitors are spending more money per person. According to figures from BIA they are spending around twice as much as other tourists, which is an average $7,000 each. Overall, Chinese tourists accounted for $230 billion of spending around the globe.

Chinese New Year is proving a big driver for the spending of these tourists, particularly with regards to luxury retailers.

Last year 160,000 people visited Australia from mainland China and although exact numbers haven't been recorded yet, it's expected that even more will have made the trip in 2016.

Most of those visiting are emerging middle-class citizens who see Australia as a place to visit for its shopping.

Indeed, a survey by investment bank and broker CLSA in Hong Kong stated that Chinese tourists view Australia as the 15th best place to go on holiday for shopping, which is up four places from 2015.

As such, retailers are now beginning to take advantage of this accolade and high-end stores and designers are launching Lunar New Year gifts to commemorate each Chinese New Year.

Speaking on the Chinese New Year spending phenomenon, marketing director at luxury department store Harrolds Mary Poulakis said: "It's our second bite of the Christmas/New Year cherry and we certainly focus on it a lot in our stores."

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