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.
Australians have been enjoying rediscovering our own beautiful natural landscapes as well as the best food, wine and cultural events the world has to offer. And with our borders now reopened, we’re looking forward to sharing our country with the world again, bolstered by the Australian Government’s THRIVE 2030 strategy.
Australia offers nearly A$70 billion in grants, incentives and funding pools to Australian-based companies across priority sectors.
Australian tourism in 2019
- domestic tourism worth A$166 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
Australians have been holidaying at home
Australians are enthusiastic travellers, accounting for around three-quarters of total tourism spend in a typical year and taking more than five domestic overnight trips a year on average.
With high vaccination rates and COVID well-managed locally, the tourism industry has been buoyed by an even greater demand from Australians exploring their own backyard. In fact, in May 2021, spending on domestic overnight trips had risen to 9% higher than pre-pandemic levels. In regional areas, agritourism is booming. 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.
Poised to grow
With our proximity to the Asia-Pacific, we’re well-positioned to recapture a major share of the global travel spend. Now that our borders have reopened, Tourism Australia is investing $60 million in a campaign to attract international visitors back to our shores. The long-term national visitor economy strategy, THRIVE 2030, will be an important part of this recovery as an industry-led and government-enabled approach to rebuilding and growing the visitor economy. Preliminary data on trip rates shows that recovery is now underway.
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%)
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.
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.
- 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.