It’s International Visitor Survey for the year ending December 2013 found the strongest growth came from the holiday and visiting friends and relatives segment, while spending from UK visitors rose by 12 percent and US visitors by 9 percent.

Chinese visitors, now the most lucrative market for Australia, spent a record $4.8 billion last year.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said the latest figures provided evidence that Australia’s tourism industry was performing strongly.

In the final quarter spending grew by a whopping 9 percent.

“We certainly enjoyed a strong final quarter to end 2013, with international arrivals, visitor nights and spending all up,” O’Sullivan said.

Tourism & Transport Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the survey demonstrates the tourism sector’s capacity as a serious economic development strategy for Australia.

“International visitors are spending $80 million dollars across Australia every day,” he said.

“In addition, every dollar earned by tourism generates another 87 cents elsewhere in the Australian economy. The tourism industry has a very long value chain that benefits businesses and communities all over the country.

“Tourism contributes $42.3 billion in direct GDP each year. It also supports over 280,000 businesses and 543,700 direct jobs across the country.”

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