Tourism Rebounds Strongly in Australia

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In a promising turn of events, Australia’s tourism industry continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with June 2023 showing significant progress.
Tourism Research Australia’s (TRA) monthly snapshots reveal that the number of international visitors has reached 83 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with some notable highlights in key areas.

Spend in Australia Surges to $1.9 Billion

In June 2023, international tourists injected a total of $1.9 billion into the Australian economy, marking a remarkable achievement of 99 per cent of pre-COVID spending levels.
This surge in spending signifies the eagerness of travelers to experience the unique beauty and attractions that Australia has to offer.

Travelers Return in Droves

Despite the lingering impact of the pandemic, Australia welcomed 492,000 international visitors in June 2023, representing 83 per cent of the numbers seen in June 2019.
This resurgence in tourism has contributed significantly to the nation’s economic rebound.

Top Reasons for Travel to Australia

The primary reasons for international travelers visiting Australia in June 2023 were as follows:

Holiday Travel: A total of 189,000 trips were dedicated to leisure and vacation, accounting for 70 per cent of pre-COVID levels.
The accompanying expenditure was $591 million, reaching 92 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Visiting Friends and Relatives: Approximately 184,000 trips were for reconnecting with friends and family.
Remarkably, this segment remained on par with pre-COVID levels, with spending reaching $317 million, a notable 18 per cent increase compared to June 2019.

Business Travel: Despite being at 74 per cent of pre-COVID levels, business travel saw 58,000 trips to Australia in June 2023, contributing $165 million in spending, which was seven per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

International Students Boost the Economy

A significant contributor to the international visitor spend was students coming to Australia for their studies.
They accounted for 34 per cent of the total monthly international visitor spend, pumping $649 million into the Australian economy.

Top 5 International Visitor Markets

Australia’s top five international markets in June 2023 were as follows:

New Zealand: 98,000 trips from across the Tasman Sea marked a remarkable 97 per cent of pre-COVID levels. These visitors spent $178 million, a substantial 41 per cent increase compared to June 2019.

United States of America: Australia welcomed 43,000 American visitors, amounting to 79 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. These travelers spent $159 million, showing a 15 per cent increase from June 2019.

China: Although at 47 per cent of pre-COVID levels, 36,000 Chinese tourists made their way to Australia in June 2023, contributing $298 million to the economy.

India: The Indian market showed a remarkable recovery, with 35,000 trips, which were 8 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels. These travelers spent $121 million, marking a notable 66 per cent increase from June 2019.

Singapore: With 34,000 trips, Singaporeans accounted for 73 per cent of pre-COVID levels. Their spending reached $107 million, representing 95 per cent of the pre-pandemic expenditure.

Regional and Capital City Visitors and Spend

In June 2023, international visitors made 453,000 trips to Australia’s vibrant capital cities, reaching 81 per cent of pre-COVID levels. These travelers injected $1.6 billion into the local economies, a robust 99 per cent of pre-pandemic spending.

Furthermore, 145,000 international tourists explored Australia’s picturesque regional areas, representing 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels. These travelers spent $306 million, which was 1 per cent higher than June 2019, showcasing the allure of Australia’s diverse landscapes.

Total Spend Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

In a surprising turn of events, the total spend for June 2023 reached $2.9 billion, surpassing June 2019 levels by 7 per cent. This figure encompasses not only expenditures within Australia but also purchases made overseas, such as international connections, airfares, luggage, visas, duty-free retail, and ground transport.

Promising Forecasts for the Australian Tourism Industry

In addition to the impressive recovery in international tourism, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has presented forecasts that paint a promising future for the country’s tourism industry. TRA predicts that total visitor expenditure will surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, reaching a staggering $227.7 billion by 2027. These forecasts include:

Domestic Overnight and Day Trip Expenditure: These categories are projected to move higher than their pre-pandemic peaks this year and are expected to reach $137.9 billion and $41.1 billion, respectively, by 2027.

International Visitor Expenditure: TRA anticipates that international visitor expenditure will exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2024, with a projected increase to $48.8 billion by 2027.

Recovery Timeline for International Tourism

TRA expects the recovery of international tourism to take some time, with an anticipated return to visitor arrivals surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2025, totaling 11.0 million by 2027. However, international spend is projected to return to pre-pandemic levels earlier, in 2024.

Rapid Progress in Domestic Travel

The turnaround for domestic travel is progressing more quickly. Overnight and day trip expenditure for this year has already exceeded pre-pandemic levels. TRA forecasts that the number of visitor nights will surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

By 2027, TRA predicts the following figures for domestic tourism:

465.8 Million Domestic Visitor Nights: An impressive 11 per cent increase compared to 2019.

126.2 Million Domestic Overnight Trips: A remarkable 7 per cent increase compared to 2019.

244.4 Million Domestic Day Trips: While down by 2 per cent compared to 2019, this segment remains robust and continues to contribute to the nation’s tourism.

As international and domestic tourism rebound with remarkable resilience, Australia stands poised to reassert itself as a premier global travel destination, offering travelers unique experiences, natural wonders, and cultural richness.
With every passing month, the nation’s tourism industry takes bold strides toward a full recovery, heralding a bright future for the sector.

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