China begins to "counterattack", Australian media say it has hit the nail on the head.


Tang, 24, who is majoring in finance at Deakin University, has been studying at the Australia to study for two years. Due to Australia's swift ban on the entry of people from China on February 1, Tang's flight was cancelled before he could board and he was forced to A detour through Thailand and then rolling back to Melbourne.

Tang is preparing to return to campus next month after spending the first half of this year in mostly online university classes due to the new crown epidemic. He's just one of thousands of Chinese students representing the university. But his experience at the Woolworths supermarket came as a shock to him.

He said: "When I walked in, people were glaring at me. I heard people talking about me behind my back and I heard the term 'Chinese virus'. It was a very unpleasant experience. It had never happened before in Australia."

The Australian Financial Review said Tang's personal experience is why China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Ministry of Education are warning tourists and students to stay away from Australia.

However, the Morrison government denies there is a racism problem in Australia and fears punishment from Beijing over Australia's call for an independent investigation into the new coronavirus.

Either way, the escalating diplomatic tensions between Australia and China are bad news for Australia's tourism industry and universities, the Australian Financial Review said in its article.

Tourism and education exports are Australia's third and fourth largest export earners, earning more than $80 billion a year.

For more than a decade, China's rapid economic growth has laid the foundation for these industries to achieve record revenues and in 2019, China is the Australia's largest source of tourists (1.3 million). Although growth has begun to level off, it is expected to remain an important market for many years.

However, multiple Chinese authorities issued a travel warning for tourists and students in early June and said that during the new crown epidemic, Australia There are "incidents of multiple discrimination" against Asians.

It was also a wake-up call for an economy already struggling with a global health crisis.

In the wake of the travel warning, Australian businesses and governments at all levels began to have questions. These questions included.

Is China really going to shut down Australia's tourism industry? For the thousands of Chinese students eager for an international education, will they really abandon Australia for the US, UK, or Canada? The university?

Mr Shen (pronounced James Shen) runs a travel agency in Melbourne that specialises in Chinese tourists. He said: "I'm trying not to be too pessimistic, but it's going to ruin my business, especially with another run-in with the new coronavirus."

"I hope things will be back to normal by 2021. But it's really tough for us right now."

Three days after the Department of Culture and Tourism issued a travel alert on June 5 urging 1.4 billion citizens not to travel to Australia, the Department of Education called on students to :: Remain cautious and reconsider your plans to study in Australia. Both warnings carried the caveat that there had been a "significant" increase in discrimination and racial attacks in Australia.

Such warnings were repeated throughout the week in more than 100 Chinese newspapers and on social media.

One former Australian diplomat commented: "This is a very serious situation and we are being taught a lesson by the big powers."

Is it a real blow or a political deterrent?

The travel warning is just the latest blow to Australian exporters. The travel warning is just the latest blow to Australian exporters, after China suspended imports to four Australian beef companies and imposed high tariffs of more than 80 percent on barley.

In an interview with Australian media in April this year, China's ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, said that Australia was pushing for an "independent investigation into the New Crown epidemic". Efforts at "the source" are "dangerous" and could lead Chinese tourists and students to think badly of the country.

But with Australia's international borders remaining closed for the foreseeable future, these moves won't have an immediate impact. As to whether the real impact of the political dispute will erupt next year and lead to a permanent change in Chinese visitor numbers, the Australian government has said that it will not be able to take any action. Tour operators and education agents are divided.

This is not the first time China has used travel warnings.

Last year, in the months following a row over the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada, Chinese tourists who applied for 10-year visas to visit Canada The number of people has halved. However, the case study most relevant to the potential impact on Australia's tourism industry was in 2017. In that year, South Korea deployed the Saud anti-missile system and subsequently suspended Chinese group travel to the country.

Darren Lim, a senior lecturer in international relations at the Australian National University, said the ban cost the South Korean economy about 156 billion in revenue. the number of Chinese tourists fell by 48.3% in 2017, impacting duty free shops, casinos, hotel chains, retail Even plastic surgeons have had a huge impact.

Monthly changes in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Korea in 2016 and 2017

According to Lim: "These cases show that for the Chinese side, the substitutability of the targeted industries and products, or the abandonment of the deal The cost is lower."

"Giving up Norwegian salmon, Korean vacations or Philippine bananas will not impact China's economy. However, trade in natural resources and semi-finished goods is vital to the Chinese economy. This also insulates such commodities from the impact."

Lim also said that Chinese consumers value quality over politics. He pointed out that the short-term impact of tourism and student warnings would be minimal. Because the borders are closed anyway, and additionally, for students already enrolled, they have the incentive to complete their degrees. Even if that means postponing a semester or distance learning.

China's travel warning does not prohibit its citizens from travelling to Australia, nor has it announced a ban on tour groups from travelling to Australia. Nonetheless, travel agents say there is a possibility of implementing relevant practical measures.

Wang Yonghong, general manager of China Overseas International Travel Service, said: "Australia has shown some hostility towards China, so China will take counter-measures to measures."

Travel warnings are the last thing Australia's tourism industry wants to see. Australia's tourism industry has already suffered badly from the January outbreak of mountain fires and the New Canopy virus.

China's overseas study market shrinks across the board

Meanwhile, the neo-crown epidemic has also led to a collapse in the number of new university students, costing the industry A$4.8 billion.

Against the backdrop of the global neo-crown outbreak, students fleeing the epidemic in Europe and the United States in quarantine suits have left many Chinese parents reeling. They say they will be more cautious about sending their children overseas again.

Chinese students return home from Sydney airport in March.

In addition, China's economy has been hit by the epidemic to some extent, which means that many families have less discretionary income. And travel warnings have compounded the problem.

But alternative options for Chinese parents are narrowing. The US is cancelling visas for some Chinese students, and Canada and the UK also have considerable differences with China.

According to Chen Ye, a study abroad adviser at education agency JJL Education, "Parents and students are concerned about the The alert from the Department of Education is worrying...some parents are looking at other countries such as the UK, the US and Canada. However, Australia remains an attractive country for Chinese students."

"Overall, the market for overseas study is shrinking this year due to the new crown epidemic. Chinese parents are more worried than usual about sending their children overseas. This has hurt Australia more than the fear of racism."

Mark Zhang, a study abroad adviser at the Shanghai International Education Service Centre, is more optimistic, saying, "This will be in the short term. have an impact, but not a significant one in the long run."

Nonetheless, the industry as a whole remains very worried. The Australian Financial Review quoted an anonymous source at an Australian university as saying that they estimate that in 2021 from China Student enrolment will fall by 40 per cent. This means that by the end of 2021, the loss of revenue could exceed A$6 billion.

Chinese students account for nearly 30 per cent of Australia's international enrolment and their 'economic contribution' (through up to A$100,000) is estimated to be more than $500,000. Degree programs) support Australia's leading research in medicine, solar energy and artificial intelligence.

It is estimated that up to 70 per cent of Australian university research is funded by direct fees paid by international students, with Chinese students taking by far the largest share.

IBISWorld's James Caldwell released a report stating: "I It is believed that international student enrolment will not recover for the time being. Universities must rethink their business models."

The report notes that Australian universities benefit from visa legal provisions, the latter allowing international students to stay and work in Australia for up to two years after completing their studies, with some of them also given the opportunity to migrate permanently.

Australian tourism operators remain optimistic for now

In Australia, if Chinese tourists don't come, it will pose a more immediate challenge to tourism operators than the new crown epidemic. But those involved have a different take on China's warning.

For some, it's a wake-up call about China's booming tourism industry that has been going on for years. But others believe that many free-riding tourists will not be swayed by the warning and will continue to flock to Australia.

The founder of Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb and the founder of Director David Hammon said: "To be honest, we expect this market to grow."

The Hammon family, which also owns Scenic World tourist park and cable car service in the Blue Mountains, is headed by Hammon's sister Anthea Hammon, who is also on the board of Western Sydney Airport, currently under construction, as managing director.

Compared to Sydney International Airport, which is limited by 80 arrivals and departures per hour, Hammon said: "The new airport will be ready for use in 2026. Completed at the end of the year, we are bracing ourselves for a surge in Chinese visitors."

John O'Sullivan, former Managing Director of Tourism Australia, also expressed his concern about the Chinese tourism We are confident that the market will continue to grow at "10-15% or 5-10%"," he recalled.

He recalls: "Chinese tourists are fascinated by Australia - the food, the people, the environment, the fresh air, the space and so on! , they just want to come in droves to play."

He recalled that in his first year with the tourism board in 2014, Chinese tourists were growing at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent. However, he also said that this rate may not be sustained in the future.

"No other country has grown as massively and as fast as China, which is very unusual. The number of inbound visitors to China has grown from less than 200,000 in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2019. Almost all other markets are taking relatively longer to grow and really consolidate."

The number of Chinese visitors to Australia is expected to reach 3.9 million by 2026-27. That's an average growth rate of 11.9 per cent over the next 10 years (according to Tourism Australia). In light of this, the Australian tourism industry is praying that Chinese freeloaders will ignore the warnings and continue to come to Australia.

"Is this an unrealistic scenario?" The Australian Financial Review concludes by questioning.

(Welcome to the front page of the Australian Financial Review, where we will continue to provide you with quality global macroeconomic analysis and Australian financial information)

Images not attributed in the article are licensed for use by Shutterstock, Inc. and are not to be reprinted separately by Australian Finance The analysis, opinions or other information in this article are market commentary and do not constitute trading advice, for reference only, please exercise caution when investing. Decisions are made at your own risk.

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