8 February 2016
Australia offers a warm welcome to the thousands of Chinese tourists coming to our shores to celebrate Lunar New Year - a key event on the Chinese calendar.
Chinese visitors make an important contribution to our communities in Australia and we welcome opportunities to experience first-hand their culture and traditions.
We're thrilled to see so many Chinese visitors choosing Australia as a destination to celebrate Lunar New Year and I hope they enjoy the diverse and world-class tourism experiences in our country.
Our goal is to make these special visitors feel very much at home and welcome in Australia during their national holiday.
It's pleasing to see Australia is becoming a destination of choice for Chinese tourists and we hit a new record with the issuing of 100,000 visitor visa applications from China in January 2016 - an increase of 17 percent on the same month last year and the most ever issued for any month prior.
This follows a record 1 million Chinese visitors to Australia in the year ending September 2015.
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year. I look forward to welcoming this year's visitors and their family and friends back to Australia in the future.