A majority of Chinese tourists plan to maintain or increase their travel spending this year despite the economic slowdown in China and Australia remains the top destination on their wish list, a new survey shows.
Chinese travellers tightened their belts over the year to May due to the slowing economy at home, on average spending 17 per cent less per day than the previous year, the 2016 Hotels.com Chinese International Travel Monitor survey shows.
But that's set to rebound in the next year.
Ninety two per cent of Chinese globetrotters plan to increase or maintain travel spending, and one third of the 3,000 Chinese residents surveyed plan to fork out extra cash to venture abroad.
"While China's gross domestic product had been slowing for three years, China's outbound tourism had registered double that growth rate for each of those years," the report found.
China is the top global spender on tourism, and only five per cent of its nearly 1.4 billion citizens currently hold a passport, the survey said.
The number of visitors from China and Hong Kong coming Down Under has also hit a record high, hitting 1.4 million over the year to May.
The Asian giant's growing middle class means arrivals are set to surge further, with Chinese millennials prepared to spend nearly a quarter of their income on travel.
Millennials are the group with the greatest potential for growth, the survey found.
"(They have) some of the highest daily holiday spending at US$474 per day," Hotels.com regional director Australia and New Zealand Katherine Cole said.
With Australia's tourism industry set to capitalise, hoteliers should avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to attracting Chinese visitors, Hotels.com vice president Abhiram Chowdhry says.
"Perceptions of the Chinese as group tour travellers wanting only Chinese breakfasts and Mandarin translators are outdated," he said.
Mr Chowdhry said Chinese tourists have become more sophisticated, with improved English language skills, higher expectations, and are spending less while seeking a better deal.