Published on : Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Former Victorian premier John Brumby has declined concerns about China’s influence in Australia’s higher education sector. He has cautioned that Australia is not ready for a massive boom in Chinese tourism.
Brumby said, “We don’t see that in business. I think with influence every country around the world exerts its own influence internationally and China is no different,” Mr. Brumby told the ABC’s AM program. What we’ve got to make sure in Australia is that we stick to our values and our views around the world.”
Mr. Brumby said that, in his role as a university lecturer, he has seen no evidence of influence or interference that would concern him.
Concerns about China’s growing influence came from the fact that Chinese tourists visiting Australia is set to more than triple to 3.3 million per year by 2026.
Australia’s capability to handle the expected Chinese tourist boom has been highlighted as a concern. John Brumby pointed to recommendations urging better Mandarin signage, improved transport and the availability of Chinese payment options like Alipay.
Mr. Brumby said Australia’s accommodation sector is mainly under pressure from the expected boom in Chinese tourist numbers,
“We’re not really ready. We’ve had issues with Chinese new year when you get 150,000 or 200,000 tourists and the hotels struggle,” Mr. Brumby said. He added, “So if they’re [hotels] are struggling now they’re really going to struggle with 3.3 million visitors.”
“Put education, financial services and tourism together and the services market for a state like Victoria is already much more important than the resources market,” Mr. Brumby said.