Coronavirus and Australian tourismThe tourism sector was, inevitably, significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of the 2020 financial year, the industry recognized its first negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth year with a decline of over 15 percent for the first time in several years. International tourism wasn’t closed off for the entire year, however, and although international visitor expenditure dropped from 2019, this was only by around 10 billion Australian dollars.
Domestic and international travel intentionThe overall intent of Australian consumers to travel dropped by around 30 percent, compared to usual travel plans, as a result of the pandemic. Intention to travel overseas around halved compared to before the pandemic, whereas domestic travel within Australia and within the same state actually increased, suggesting more Aussies elected to opt for ‘staycations’.
Despite the changing travel landscape, spending by those who did travel internationally to Australia remained healthy despite COVID-19; spending rose slightly from 2019, suggesting that the industry will be able to recover to previous levels.