As of 2021, the state with the highest number of employees in the tourism sector was New South Wales. Retail trade businesses, cafés, restaurants, and takeaway services accounted for the largest groups of tourism businesses in Australia that same year, with 334 thousand tourism businesses in operation across the country.
Inbound tourism: the road to recoveryThere were just over one million international visitors to Australia in 2022, slightly recovering from the previous year. The majority of visitors to Australia come to visit friends and family, with New South Wales being the most popular state to visit for international tourists. Travelers from New Zealand are the most common visitors to Australia, with visitors from India showing significant growth in recent years. In 2022, the total trip expenditure of international tourists in Australia was around 9.7 billion, comparably low in relation to pre-pandemic levels, but up from 2021, indicating gradual recovery within the industry.
Outbound tourism: travel interests and intentionsWith borders reopened in 2022, Australians are excited to start traveling abroad again, with many planning more holidays or intending to spend more on trips abroad in 2023. Dining out, going to the beach, and shopping were among some of the leading tourism experience interests of Australian outbound travelers in 2022. Australian tourists particularly enjoyed trying street foods and local specialties overseas, as well as shopping for local handicrafts and exploring the outdoors. Nonetheless, travel sustainability is becoming more important among Australian consumers, with some opting to travel closer to home to offset their carbon footprint.
Exploring their own backyardAustralia’s large diversity of wildlife and landscapes, from rainforests to beaches and deserts, is popular with international and domestic visitors alike. The coronavirus pandemic led to many Australians opting to travel domestically for their vacation, largely due to widespread international travel restrictions.
Domestic visitor expenditure in Australia totaled over 69 billion Australian dollars in 2022, exceeding international tourist trip expenditure. New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland are the most popular regions for domestic tourists. Despite the size of the country, driving remains the most common mode of transportation for domestic tourists traveling throughout the country. Nevertheless, air travel continues to be an important mode of transportation for longer and interstate trips.