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Phil witnessed Australia’s Chinese tourism boom. But now that’s over and many like him have moved on

Perth tour guide Phil Dong was still showing his Chinese guests the beauty of the city on March 19 last year. What came next caught him off guard.

The day after, Australia shut its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents in response to the worsening COVID-19 situation.

“I never thought that was the last time I saw tourists from China,” the 39-year-old Chinese migrant, who emigrated to Australia two decades ago, told the ABC.

“I was aware of what was going on in the east coast but didn’t expect COVID could get worse so quickly.”

Mr Dong, who joined the tourism industry in 2017, said big-spending Chinese tourists were driving Australia’s tourism boom for years.

Mr Dong with a tour group at Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park in…

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