China overtakes NZ on Australian visits

China has overtaken New Zealand as the leading source of tourism in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About 1.43 million Chinese people visited Australia in 2018, up 6% on the previous year.

New Zealand, which had been Australia's leading tourism market for almost 20 years since it took over from Japan in 1999, had about 1.38 million people visit in 2018.

The number of Chinese visitors to Australia has more than tripled in the last 10 years, according to ABS director of migration statistics Myles Burleigh. He said there were 353,000 visitors from China in 2008, while there were just 77,000 recorded in 1998.

In total, there were more than 42 million movements across Australia's borders in 2018, according to the ABS. The busiest day was December 22, while the quietest was May 22.