Chinese tourists flock down under to catch last glimpse of whale migration
SYDNEY, Nov 14 (Xinhua) -- As Australia's whale-watching season comes to a close, thousands of tourists are scrambling to get last glimpse of the majestic creatures.
During the months from April to November, whales leave their food rich habitats in Antarctica's Southern Ocean to head north in search of warmer water so they can find mates and give birth.
Always popular with local Aussie tourists, over the past decade an upsurge in visitors from around the world has seen tourism operators thrive.
General manager Matt Cross of the hugely successful Dolphin Watch Cruises told Xinhua, he's been chasing the spectacular animals in Jervis Bay (200 km south of Sydney) for almost three decades.
"Traditionally 15 years ago it was 100 percent domestic," he said.
But now an influx of tourists from "North Asia and Chinese mainland" has been a huge windfall for the local industry.
Overall, the launch of the China-Australia year of Tourism by both governments at the beginning of 2017, has lifted the number of incoming Chinese visitors down under and according to Cross, many of them are eager for the chance to encounter marine life in the wild.
"China has some magnificent rivers and some really big mountains," he said.
"But China doesn't have the dolphins and the whales that Jervis Bay has everyday and the mixture of the blue sky, crystal clear water, and wildlife in Jervis Bay is a fantastic tourism recipe for the people of China."
"Coming from the big cities of Asia... the moment the whale jumps into the sky is like 'oh my god!' it's amazing!"