BRISBANE - China has surpassed the United Kingdom (UK) as Australia's most valuable tourism market, a survey released by the Australian Government Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism on Wednesday found.
Tourism Research Australia's December 2010 quarterly results of the international visitor survey showed a 5 percent increase in international visitors in 2010, and a 4 percent rise in their spending.
Almost 5,441,000 people came to Australia in 2010 and they spent AU$18 billion ($18.13 billion) on their trips, the report said.
In terms of total goods and services, they contributed AU$24 billion.
Although New Zealand was the largest source of visitors during the period (1,053,901), the Chinese emerged as Australia's most economically valuable market, surpassing the UK.
Chinese travelers, who represented the fourth largest visitor numbers at 431,369, poured AU$3.1 billion into the economy. The UK contributed AU$2.9 billion, and New Zealand AU$2 billion.
The total economic value was an increase of 2.9 percent on 2009, the report said.