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Tourism

Spectacular and unique, Australia has long been an aspirational destination for international travellers.

We’re a high yield market, with visitors staying long and spending big. In fact visitors spend more in Australia per visit than anywhere else in the world. After ten years of constant growth, we welcomed almost 10 million visitors in 2019.

While Australians are looking forward to sharing their country with the world again, we’re also enjoying rediscovering our beautiful natural landscapes as well as the best food, wine and cultural events the world has to offer.

 

Australian tourism in 2019

  • domestic tourism worth A$252.4 billion
  • international tourism worth A$45.4 billion
  • ranked 1st globally for visitor spend per trip
  • domestic spend grew around 6% per year for the 10 years to 2019
  • 7th largest tourism market globally
  • Australia’s 4th-largest export industry
  • more than 88,000 international visitors spent more than $1,000 per night in Australia, with another 387,000 spending between $500 and $999 

Source: STR and TRA

Australians are holidaying at home

Australians are enthusiastic travellers, accounting for around three-quarters of total tourism spend in a typical year, and taking more than 5 domestic overnight trips a year on average. With COVID contained locally, the tourism industry has been buoyed by an even greater demand from Australians exploring their own backyard, especially in regional areas. 

Australia’s pristine natural environments and rich cultural traditions are ideal for wellness tourism operators – as well the production of locally sourced beauty and therapeutic products. 

The OECD says our solid track record of economic growth is forecast to continue. Underpinning this growth is Australia’s political stability, sound governance and transparent regulatory system – all of which make for a safe, low-risk business environment.

 

Couple hiking

Poised to grow

With our proximity to the Asia Pacific, we’re well-positioned to recapture a major share of travel from China and Japan, which together contributed A$14 billion of the total A$44.3 billion international spend in Australia in 2019. 

International spend in Australia 2019

  • A$12.0b China (+10%)
  • A$4.0b USA (+6%)
  • A$3.3b UK (-5%)
  • A$2.6b NZ (+2%)
  • A$2.0b Japan (+11%)
Roof top bar and restaurant

Wine and dine where the food is fresh

Australia’s award-winning restaurants and wineries serve up fresh produce from our unspoiled landscapes, while our cafes have made coffee an art form. Add to this a packed calendar of events that draws travellers year-round and you have a world-class tourism offering.

Food and wine accounts for one in five dollars spent by international tourists in Australia. 

Soaking up nature

We’re also ranked number one globally for our natural experiences. From pristine rainforests to spectacular beaches and vast outback plains, Australia’s stunning natural landscapes offer something for every traveller. Our diverse and unique ecosystems are home to a huge variety of plants and wildlife, much of which is found nowhere else on earth. This precious natural heritage is protected in thousands of parks and conservation reserves that dot the country.

 

Australian landscape - Hiking

As a leader in ecotourism, Australia offers abundant opportunities for businesses looking to offer nature-based experiences. With such an expansive natural environment – including a continuous coastline stretching some 30,000 kilometres – innovative businesses have the chance to look beyond familiar destinations to craft travel experiences that are new and truly unique. 

Beach side restaurant and bar

Wellness tourism 

  • growing at double the rate of travel generally globally
  • visitation increased 9.6% in Australia in 2019

Incentives, grants and support

  • Austrade supports the tourism industry to innovate and build long-term sustainable growth.
  • Tourism Australia supports tourism businesses by attracting international visitors to Australia.
  • The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.

 

 

Are you a talented individual leading significant projects in tourism?

Get an idea of the kinds of skills and roles we’re looking for

We are looking for individuals with expertise in the use of technology and highly innovative methods to drive demand, increase economic benefits and improve safety, sustainability and infrastructure in the international and domestic tourism industries in Australia. 

The following specialisations are intended to be used as a guide and are not an exhaustive list. The global talent profile provides examples of the calibre of individuals who may meet program requirements. 

Specialisations

  • New tourism infrastructure and attraction development (such as high end accommodation)
  • High-value tourism attraction
  • Sustainable tourism

Global talent profile

Chief commercial officer of a commercial airline with a global reputation in developing new aviation business models.

Managing director of an innovative company known globally for sports events and international championship events.

The following experience or professions would not usually meet the parameters of the program:

  • Tour guides, travel agents and hospitality workers
  • Taxi and rideshare drivers

Australia’s tourism ecosystems