The Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality industry is a large and diverse industry and is comprised of many sectors:
- Events and Exhibitions
- Tourism and Travel.
All sectors cater to both domestic and international markets and are significant in driving economic growth in Australia. These sectors represent a range of business types and services, which in many cases are interconnected.
For example, Tourism incorporates a complex combination of overlapping sectors, including those listed above (e.g., Events and Exhibitions, Hotels, Holiday Parks and Resorts, etc.) and impacts the Transportation and Retail sectors.
Events and Exhibitions draw on various services, including marketing, audio-visual systems, catering, transport, and accommodation. Economic activity is therefore extensive across all these interrelated sectors and additionally impacts many secondary industries.
The travel and tourism industry is one of Australia’s largest industries, making a direct contribution of well over 50 billion Australian dollars to GDP in recent years. In the financial year 2019, the GDP from tourism increased by 6.6 percent, representing an ongoing trend of year-on-year tourism growth.
Over 650,000 people were directly employed in the tourism sector in 2019, and the outlook for future growth in the industry looked good.
However, in 2020 the COVID-19 virus delivered an unforeseen blow to growth in the travel industry, causing disruptions to be international and domestic travel and resulting in a massive decline in revenue across the industry, which saw an increase for the 2020 financial year plunging to -17.6 percent.
There were just over 6.2 million international visitors to Australia in 2020, down from over eight million in the previous year. The majority of visitors to Australia come for a leisure holiday, with New South Wales being the most popular state to visit for international tourists. Kingsford Smith Airport is Australia’s largest and is otherwise known as Sydney Airport, hosting by far the highest number of international visitors, followed by airports in Victoria and Queensland.
Travelers from New Zealand and China are among the most common visitors to Australia. However, visitors from India have shown significant growth in recent years. In 2020, international tourists’ total trip expenditure in Australia dropped from over 40 billion
Australian dollars to just over 30 billion. However, visitors were still willing to spend more on an average trip in 2020 than in 2019.
Australia’s immense diversity of wildlife and landscapes, from rainforests to beaches and deserts, is popular with international and domestic visitors alike. Domestic visitor expenditure totaled almost 80 billion Australian dollars in 2019-2020, which exceeded international tourists’ trip expenditure. Domestic and international visitors do not differ significantly in their choice of destinations, with New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland being the most popular regions for domestic tourists. Despite the country’s size, driving remains the most common mode of transportation for domestic tourists traveling through the country.