As the world’s seventh largest national tourism market, based on international tourism receipts, Australia offers significant opportunities for investment in tourism infrastructure.
Australia has a growing international visitor market supported by a strong domestic travel base:
- International visitors spent a record $43.9 billion for the year ending December 2018 – 7 per cent more than the previous year
- International visitor numbers reached 9.2 million for the year ending December 2018, increasing 4.9 per cent, while nights were up 4 per cent to 274 million
- Domestic overnight visitor expenditure reached a record high of $67.5 billion for the year ending December 2018, an increase of 8 per cent on the previous year
- Domestic travellers took 100.3 million overnight trips for the year ending December 2018, up 7 per cent on the previous year
- Tourism Research Australia (TRA) forecasts show that international arrivals will likely grow by 64% from 2017-18 to 2026–27
- Domestic travel is forecast to grow by 24% (overnight visitors) and 29% (day visitors) over the period 2017–18 to 2026–27.
Source: Tourism Research Australia
Top International Markets by Spend
For the year ending December 2018, strong growth was reported across most of Australia’s major markets.
China, the US, the UK, New Zealand and Japan were the five major markets that contributed just over half (A$23.5 billion) of the total spend for the year. China alone accounts for more than one-quarter of total international spend ($11.7 billion) - three times that of the next highest market, the US. India continued to be the strongest performing market, with spend up 21% to $1.7 billion.
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.
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.