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“This year China leapfrogged the UK as our second largest source market of international visitors, with more than 625,000 arrivals,” said Andrew McEvoy, managing director of Tourism Australia.
The statement follows the latest overseas arrivals and departures figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In 2012 the Australian government published a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century explaining Australia’s pivot towards growth engines like India and China.
McEvoy said that to achieve 6.1 million international arrivals and annual growth of 4. 6 per cent was a very creditable performance, against the backdrop of a fiercely competitive global tourism marketplace, a persistently high dollar and economic stagnation in a number of Australia’s key traditional source markets.
“In many ways, 2012 was a year of transition for our industry, as we continue to adapt to the Asian Century and the enormous opportunities provided by the region’s fast emerging and increasingly mobile middle classes.” said McEvoy.
Earlier this week, Australia’s Qantas Airways announced a number of enhancements to its international network as part of its new strategy to broaden the Asian market.
Craig Emerson, the Australian trade minister said in January, “The Government’s Asian Century Policy is all about building Australia’s ability to meet this demand, helping to ensure our future prosperity.”
With Inputs from Agencies