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Retail and hospitality businesses will miss out on $1.4 billion in tourist dollars because of the absence of cashed-up Chinese visitors for Chinese New Year.

Australia’s retail and hospitality sectors are expected to suffer a $1.4 billion financial hit because of the absence of cashed-up Chinese tourists during Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese New Year falls on February 12, and it’s also the month that traditionally has the biggest influx of Chinese tourists to Australia.

In 2019, more than 200,000, or 14%, of short-term visitors from China that year arrived in February, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That number was drastically reduced to 21,000 in 2020 as the borders closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

With tourist flights from China grounded, let alone the rest of the world, the financial fallout will be immense, says National Retailers Association CEO Dominique Lamb.

The average Chinese tourist spent slightly more than $8,500, totalling $1.755bn, in February 2019.

Their absence would be felt across all sectors, from retail through to tour operators and even casinos.

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