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Australia faces competition to lure Chinese tourists: tourist chief

Updated: 05 27 , 2015 14:54
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SYDNEY -- Tourism Australia chairman and former Qantas chief Geoff Dixon says Australia's tourism industry faces increased competition for the growing Chinese visitor market, Fairfax Media reported.

Dixon sighted the 2010 launch of Brand USA that resulted in a 2. 3 percent increase in foreign inbound travel to the United States.

"Competition like this, and from other countries, only puts pressure on Australia's industry," Dixon said.

Australia's biggest source of visitors are from New Zealand, however China has become the most valuable market for inbound tourists in terms of spending.

Spending by Chinese tourists in Australia increased by 16 percent to 5.4 billion Australian dollars (4.185 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014. Tourism Australia predicts spending will rise to 13 billion Australian dollars (10.07 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020.

Australia gained China's approved-destination status in 1999, however 130 countries worldwide now have similar approval.

"It is important that we recognize that we face real challenges, " Dixon said.