As Chinese tourists are staying home, Australia’s tourism boom might be declining

Published on : Friday, November 26, 2021

Phil Dong, a tour guide in Perth was still showing his guests from China, the beauty of the city on March 19th, 2020. What came next caught him off guard.

Australia closed its borders the day after to all non-citizens and non-residents in response to the declining situation due to COVID-19.

“I never thought that was the last time I saw tourists from China,” the 39-year-old Chinese migrant, who immigrated to Australia two decades ago, told the ABC. “I was aware of what was going on in the east coast but didn’t expect COVID could get worse so quickly.”

Back in 2017, Mr. Dong had joined the tourism industry. He said that Chinese tourists who were spending big were actually driving Australia’s tourism boom for years.

“There was a 30 per cent increase in our business every year,” he said, adding that he used to host more than 50 week-long tour groups from China each year.

During the pre-pandemic times, tourism was the fifth most valuable export in Australia, as per recent report from the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

And China was the largest inbound tourist market of Australia, both in terms of arrivals as well as spending.

From China during pre-pandemic times, there were more than 1.4 million visitors, contributing a combined total of $12 billion to the Australian economy.

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