SYDNEY, July 13 (Xinhua) -- More than half the travelers surveyed from China said they intend to travel to Australia over the next two years, and their top three priorities are natural scenery, sunshine and beaches, and new places, a report revealed on Tuesday.
Tourism Australia boss Andrew McEvoy said the results of the latest Visa PATA Travel Intentions Survey show Australia is "top of mind" for Chinese travelers.
"Everyone talks about the burgeoning middle class of China and India and we're seeing it actually happening; they're turning up in good numbers," McEvoy said.
"China's gone from being a market barely in our top 10 to number four and rising, and there's more capacity coming our way in terms of airlines putting more flights into Australia in the future.
"It's currently worth 2.3 billion Australian dollars (2 billion U.S. dollars) a year and it's estimated that'll double over the next six to eight years.
"We had a jump on a lot of our competitors by becoming the first Western destination to receive approval to host group leisure travelers from China back in 1999.
"But many others now have that and it's very competitive so we want to put more effort into maintaining and growing our market share," he said.
Tourism Australia will launch its new There's Nothing Like Australia campaign in China next month.
Gold Coast Tourism Corporation boss Martin Winter said the results of the survey underscore the timeliness of the tourist strip's decision to increase its investment in the Chinese market.
"China is now the second largest source region for tourists to the Gold Coast, with 106,000 visitors in the year to March 2010, but more importantly it is showing the best long-term rapid growth potential, with a 15 percent increase over the previous year," he said.