Chinese warm to Australia as winter descends

Updated: 2014-11-18 07:55

By Wang Wen and Shi Jing (China Daily)

Comments Print Mail Large Medium Small

As winter arrives in most regions of China, travel agencies are expecting a boom in bookings to Australia, a top choice for Chinese wanting to escape the cold weather.

The peak season for Chinese tourists traveling to the country is from November to late March, according to Yu Zhu, product manager at Beijing Utour International Travel Service Co's Australia and New Zealand Department.

"Utour expects to serve about 10,000 travelers to Australia this year, up from 7,000 last year," Yu said. International, the largest online travel agency in China, saw annual growth of 100 percent in travelers to Australia as of the end of October.

It said the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, the Gold Coast and the Melbourne coast are the four most popular destinations for Chinese.

"Australia has been a very popular outbound tourism destination for Chinese in recent years," said Yan Xin, senior manager of Ctrip's Public Affairs Department.

According to Tourism Australia, the country's national tourism authority, 579,200 Chinese visited in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 15.1 percent year-on-year.

The country's natural scenery, wildlife and fresh seafood all help to lure Chinese tourists, and it is ideal for family holidays, said Yu from Utour.

"Nearly half of our customers traveling to Australia are families with children," she said.

The price of tours to Australia has increased by 10 percent this year compared with 2013, Yu said, but some Chinese travelers feel that the country is still well worth visiting.

"The Great Barrier Reef is definitely the most fantastic coral reef in the world," said Amber Chen, who traveled to Australia from China for nine days in October.

Despite the price of tours to Australia being relatively high, the number of Chinese visiting the country continues to increase. Tourism Australia said Chinese travelers spent $5.3 billion in the country in 2013, and the figure could exceed $13 billion by 2020.

Some luxury travel packages are available. Ctrip subsidiary HH Travel has launched a 22-day tour to Australia costing 375,000 yuan ($61,182) per person.

Contact the writers at and