Chinese New Year falls on February 12, and February is also the month that traditionally has the highest number of Chinese tourists traveling to Australia.
This year Australian retail and hospitality businesses are expected to lose $1.4 billion in tourist dollars due to the absence of cash-rich Chinese visitors during Chinese New Year celebrations.
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, totaling $1.755 billion, in February 2019.
Their absence would be felt across all sectors, from retail through to tour operators and even casinos.