A surge in the number of Chinese visitors to Australia has been linked to record profits in the country's tourism industry.
News Corp revealed on Friday that Australia collected a 23.4- billion-U.S. dollar windfall from international tourism over the past year, 2 billion U.S. dollars more than the previous year.
According to the annual figures, ending in March this year, from Tourism Research Australia, Chinese tourists were a major factor in the nation's record revenue, with 829,000 trekking Down Under in the past year -- a 19 percent increase.
In particular, the rise in Victoria's international tourism numbers were linked to marked Chinese interest.
Melbourne, Victoria's capital city, was recently crowned the world's most livable city by the Economist magazine for the fifth- year running.
"People today are so mobile when looking for a prestige holiday destination, so any little marketing advantage helps," Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told News Corp.
"There is also the rise of the newly-moneyed-urban class in China seeking that Western sophisticated experience with a touch of home."
"Melbourne can offer a multiplicity of choices and mix it up a bit."
Australia's three mainland eastern states -- New South Wales (3, 272,578), Victoria (2,230,933) and Queensland (2,196,434) -- were the only three regions to have in excess of a million international visitors over the course of the year.
The largest growth sector was from Indian travelers, with the group's 25 percent increase largely attributable to Australia co- hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup earlier this year.