CANBERRA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The number of Chinese visitors to Australia has grown 13 percent in a single year, latest data showed.
The latest International Visitor Survey (IVS), released by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) on Friday evening, revealed that a record-high 1.3 million Chinese people visited Australia in the 12 months to June 2018.
The 1.3 million visitors spent 11.3 billion Australian dollars (8.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the country, up 15 percent from the previous year.
According to the IVS, Chinese visitors accounted for 81 percent of the growth in tourism spending for the year.
The total number of international visitors was 8.4 million, up 5 percent, and the total spending was 42.5 billion Australian dollars (150.6 billion U.S. dollars), up 6 percent.
Chinese visitors spent an average of 8,692 Australian dollars (6,262 U.S. dollars) during their visit to Australia, doubling the 4,394 Australian dollars (3,166 U.S. dollars) spent by other foreign visitors on average.
New South Wales, Australia's most populous state and home of Sydney, was the most popular destination with 4.3 million international visitors spending 10.5 billion Australian dollars (7.58 billion U.S. dollars) in the state.
The island state of Tasmania experienced the biggest growth in both visitors and visitor spending, both figures rising 21 percent from the previous year.
Concerning for the Northern Territory (NT), which has actively tried to attract more Chinese visitors, was that the number of visitors fell 7 percent and the visitor spending dropped 15 percent.
The NT government in April launched direct flights from the territory to China for the first time in the form of a Donghai Airlines flight from Shenzhen to Darwin.
But the tourism gains derived from the new flight corridor have been offset by Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia Indonesia and Philippine Airlines abandoning the NT.
"While we understand why the numbers are down, we think the future is much brighter than what the current numbers reveal," NT Airports chief executive Ian Kew told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, referring to opportunities brought by growing Chinese tourists.