There were 100,900 visitors to Australia from China in April, an average of one every 26 seconds.
That brought the total for the 12 months to 1.12 million, double the level reached in early 2012 and 10 times the number hit in mid-2000.
The total number of overseas visitor arrivals, including business travellers and tourists, was 678,400 in April, and 7.69 million through the year.
But there were many more departures of Australian residents heading abroad – 799,500 in April and 9.58 million over the year.
That gap narrowed in April, with arrivals up one per cent from March, and departures down three per cent.
That continued the trend of the past two years.
The lower Australian dollar has encouraged visitors to come to Australia and discouraged overseas travel by Australians.
The trend has been reinforced by a combination of strong economic growth in emerging economies, notably China, and sluggish growth in household incomes in Australia.
Compared with April 2015, arrivals were up 12 per cent, helped by a 23 per cent rise in arrivals from China.
Departures were up just two per cent.
The 121,100 excess of departures over arrivals in April was the smallest since December 2010.
The gap peaked at 227,700 in April 2014.