Chinese have led the charge of international visitors to Brisbane.
Chinese have led the charge of international visitors to Brisbane.

Brisbane’s No.1 international fans

BRISBANE is enjoying a Chinese tourism boom, with the number of visitors surging by a quarter in the past year.

New data to be released today shows it has been a record-breaking 12 months for Queensland, with total international visitors reaching 2.7 million and spending $5.7 billion.

China has led the charge, with the number coming to the Sunshine State in the year to June passing half a million for the first time.

And more than half of them - 259,0000 - spent time in Brisbane. That's a huge 24.6 per cent increase, eclipsing the next biggest market, New Zealanders, by 50,000.

The preliminary Tourism Research Australia data shows the number of Chinese holiday-makers in Brisbane was almost double that from the UK, traditionally a major source.

 

Chinese tourists Wang Kun and Jhong Guo enjoying the Grand Arbour at South Bank Parklands. Picture: Peter Wallis
Chinese tourists Wang Kun and Jhong Guo enjoying the Grand Arbour at South Bank Parklands. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

Visitors from the US to Queensland's capital also topped 100,000 for the first time.

"These results have contributed to a record 1.4 million international visitors heading to our city overall, with expenditure reaching an all-time high of $2.5 billion over the year," Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said.

The 15.7 per cent rise in spending was three times the national increase.

"Brisbane is a great place to visit. It's a safe, vibrant, green and prosperous city, valued for its friendly and optimistic character and enjoyable subtropical lifestyle."

Brisbane Marketing CEO Brett Fraser said the "outstanding'' increase in Chinese visitors came from hard work securing direct flights and promoting the city's attractions.

They were staying longer and spending more on nature and wildlife experiences like cudding koalas at Lone Pine sanctuary and feeding dolphins at tangalooma on Moreton island.

"And on retail," he said.

"It's cheaper for Chinese visitors to pay high-end luxury goods here than it is at home where there are big taxes -- even though some of the products might be made in China."

 

.
.

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the latest data was great news.

"China remains Queensland's No.1 international market, with more than 500,000 visitors spending a record $1.3 billion," she said.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the industry was booming.

"Our investment to secure more direct flights, develop new ecotourism opportunities and grow events shows our vision for future growth," she said.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind said the results confirmed the trend that Queensland was getting momentum again.

"We are in the early phase of a renaissance," he said.

"Brisbane's success is a good indication of things to come for the state… as tourists go further afield.

"We are seeing renewed confidence and the results of the work that has gone into attracting more air capacity, and the early results of a wave of development with new hotels opening."

Queensland was leveraging its advantage of proximity to China and successfully marketing the thing that Chinese tourists wanted: clear skies, open spaces, low pollution, clear coastal water and good food produce and culinary offerings, Mr Gschwind said.

A Brisbane Airport Corporation spokeswoman said last year was the biggest for passenger growth in a decade, and the beenfits were flowing through the state's economy.

The past year saw new or increased services on four Chinese airlines, and work was continuing to secure more partners and destinations.

 

Miss Lee and Mr Pan from China take a selfie at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. Picture: Josh Woning/AAP
Miss Lee and Mr Pan from China take a selfie at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. Picture: Josh Woning/AAP


How $4M container exchange program is helping CQ wildlife

Premium Content How $4M container exchange program is helping CQ wildlife

Supporters of the recycling exchange have helped local wildlife carers raise vital...

MEGA-GALLERY: All the glamour at TSSH formal 2020

Premium Content MEGA-GALLERY: All the glamour at TSSH formal 2020

TSSH students dressed to the nines at their school formal.