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 per visit to Australia than anywhere else in the world. After ten years of constant growth, we welcomed almost 10 million visitors in 2019.
Australians are 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 reopen, we’re sharing our country and rich cultural traditions with the world again, bolstered by the Australian Government’s visitor economy strategy, THRIVE 2030.
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 holiday at home
Operators in Australia benefit from a strong domestic market. Australians are enthusiastic travellers and – with high vaccination rates and COVID well-managed locally - the tourism industry was buoyed over recent years by an even greater demand from Australians exploring their own backyard.
- In a typical year, Australians account for around three-quarters of total tourism spend
- Australians take more than five domestic overnight trips a year on average
- In May 2022, spending on domestic overnight trips was 33% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Poised to grow
Our borders are open and preliminary data on trip rates shows that recovery is now underway.
With our proximity to fast-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific, we’re well-positioned to recapture a major share of the global travel spend. Our long-term national strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030, sets out our plan to regain pre-pandemic visitor expenditure of $166 billion by 2024, and grow it to $230 billion by 2030.
The OECD forecasts Australia’s solid track record of economic growth to continue; combined with our political stability, sound governance and transparent regulatory systems, it all makes for a safe, low-risk business environment.
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.