Home Lifestyle Tourists flood Australia for Chinese New Year

Tourists flood Australia for Chinese New Year

Year of the Pig brings good fortune for retail.

Around 1.5 million Chinese tourists are predicted to head to Australia this year, but most of them will be arriving over the next four weeks to celebrate the most important event on the Chinese calendar.

The Chinese New year marks the beginning of the traditional lunar calendar in China, along with a holiday period typically spanning from late January through to March.

With millions of Chinese nationals travelling to their hometowns and overseas to welcome in the new year, it’s known as the biggest annual human migration on the globe.

Passengers crowd the Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station as they head home for Chinese Lunar New Year, 2019. (Source: AP/Imaginechina)

This year marks an end to the year of the dog to welcome in the pig – a lunar tradition of 12 zodiac animals dating back thousands of years.

And it’s a tradition that Australia’s tourism sector and local businesses spend months preparing for.

More than 600,000 spectators typically attend Chinese New Year festivities in Sydney’s China Town each year, with similar smaller celebrations held across other major cities.

The Chinese tourism sector is expected to bring in around $11 billion to Australia’s economy this year alone – or around $8,000 per person over an average of 10 days.

According to Karen Halbert, corporate affairs manager of Tourism Australia, that’s a much higher than average spend compared to other visitors.

That’s a boost that Australian retailers will be hoping for following disappointing December retail figures amid increasing offshore and online competition.

Your Money reporter Camille Bianchi investigates in the video above.

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