More Australian tourists eye China after visa-free policy

2024-06-19 07:55:14China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Passengers bound for Sydney line up for check-in at Haikou Meilan International Airport in Hainan province. (LUO YUNFEI/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)

Australian tourists have shown increased enthusiasm to travel to China after they were included in the unilateral visa-free policy list on Monday.

Half an hour following China's announcement of the move on Monday,, the country's largest online travel agency, witnessed search volumes by Australian tourists of keywords related to China jumping more than 80 percent over the previous day.

With new flights and increased frequencies connecting China and Australia since the beginning of this year, travel between the two countries has been growing in popularity.

Australia has ranked as the fifth-largest source country for the number of inbound tourists to China this year, and orders for inbound tourism service products have grown by 155 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the number of flights from Australia to China has surged by over 220 percent year-on-year, data from Shanghai-based Group showed.

This summer, the average price of flight tickets from Australia to China declined by nearly 30 percent compared to the same period last year, found.

Some popular destinations for Australian tourists include Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Chengdu, Sichuan province, and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

"The implementation of the unilateral visa-free policy is expected to accelerate tourism exchanges, and economic and trade cooperation between China and Australia. The visa-free policy will also benefit over a million Chinese living in Australia, making it more convenient and smooth for family visits and travel to China," said Qin Jing, vice-president of Group.

"As important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia show high economic complementarity and boast enormous potential for further cooperation. Next, we hope to achieve stronger cooperation momentum in the tourism sector," Qin said.

Meanwhile, the visa exemption policy for Australian tourists has also spurred domestic tourists to explore travel options to Australia.

After the announcement, the search volume for flight tickets from China to Australia jumped more than 40 percent compared with the level seen in May, according to Qunar, a Beijing-based online travel agency.

Currently, direct flights connect Sydney and Melbourne with major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, and Xiamen, Fujian province. Besides, direct flights also connect Brisbane with Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Chinese tourists eyeing destinations in Australia are considering some renowned sightseeing spots in Australia, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Opera House, as well as watching dolphins at sea, Qunar found.

"Many Chinese tourists have booked group tours for eight to 12 days in Australia. Travelers can go out to sea to watch whales, and penguins returning home, to experience some unique local features in Australia," said Xiao Peng, a researcher with the big data research institute of Qunar.

Last week, China said it would also include New Zealand in the list of unilateral visa-free countries, boosting inbound tourism orders to China.

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