CANBERRA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Spending by international visitors in Australia has surpassed 40 billion Australian dollars (31 billion U.S. dollars) for the first time with a quarter coming from Chinese tourists, a tourism survey said on Wednesday.
The International Visitor Survey, released by Tourism Research Australia on Wednesday, revealed that international spending rose 6 percent, or 2.2 billion AU dollars (1.7 billion U.S. dollars), to 41.3 billion AU dollars (32.44 billion U.S. dollars) in the 2017 calendar year.
The number of international visitors to Australia also rose 6 percent to 8.1 million.
"Chinese tourists remain Australia's biggest spenders, pumping a record 10.4 billion AU dollars (8.17 billion U.S. dollars) - a 14 percent increase from last year - into the economy," Australian Minister for Trade and Tourism Steven Ciobo said in a media release on Wednesday.
The growth coincided with the 2017 China Australia Year of Tourism - a government initiative to promote Australia as a destination in China through "targeted marketing, aviation liberalization and visa reform."
Approximately 1.33 million Chinese tourists visited Australia in 2017, second only to New Zealand.
Spending by international visitors increased in all states and territories, except Western Australia which experienced a 5 percent drop-off.
"Almost all states and territories saw growth in spending by international tourists during the year, with most recording double-digit increases," Ciobo said.
"Tasmania continues to enjoy the strongest growth in the country, with spending by international tourists surging 31 percent during the year and up an incredible 90 percent over the past three years."
Spending by visitors from the United States also grew, up 3 percent to 3.8 billion AU dollars (2.98 billion U.S. dollars).