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Globally Significant Tourism Industry

As the world’s tenth largest national tourism market, based on international tourism receipts, Australia offers significant opportunities for investment in tourism infrastructure.


Tourism Australia 2018

Tourism Australia 2018


Visitor Statistics

Australia has a growing international visitor market supported by a strong domestic travel base:

  • International visitors spent a record $39.1 billion in 2016 – seven per cent or $2.5 billion more than the previous year
  • International visitor numbers reached 7.6 million in 2016, increasing 11 per cent, while nights were up 2 per cent to 253 million
  • Domestic overnight visitor expenditure reached a record high of $61 billion in 2016, an increase of five per cent on the previous year
  • Domestic travellers took 90.7 million overnight trips in 2016, up four per cent on the previous year

Source: Tourism Research Australia

Top International Markets by Spend

In 2016 strong growth was reported across most of Australia’s major markets including New Zealand, the US, Canada, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Korea, Germany, France and Italy. 

In addition to this, China, the UK, the US, New Zealand and Japan were the five major markets that contributed just over half (A$20.9 billion) of the total spend for the year.

2020: A strategy for growth

Tourism 2020 is a whole-of-government and industry long-term strategy to build the resilience and competitiveness of Australia’s tourism industry and grow its economic contribution. It focuses on improving the industry’s performance and competitiveness by pursuing new opportunities for growth and addressing supply-side factors.

The Tourism 2020 goal is to achieve more than $115 billion in overnight spend by 2020 (up from $70 billion in 2009).

The graph below showcases how we're tracking against the Tourism 2020 goal.

Read more about the Tourism 2020 Strategy.

Historic Tourism Demand

Australian hotels have an extremely stable demand base. Demand across Australia’s hotel market has continued to sustain continuous annual growth, despite the short term impact of one-off events like SARS, the Asian Economic Crisis in 2007 and the September 11 terrorism attacks.