Tourism

STUDY: Record 87.7 million tourists visited Australia in 2019

The latest international visitor survey shows Australia was on track for another record year before the dual crises of the bushfires and COVID-19.

Tourism Research Australia’s (TRA) latest snapshot of international visitation shows the country saw record numbers of international visitors aged 15 years and over for the year to December 2019, with 8.7 million arrivals (two per cent more than the previous year).

Moreover, in terms of domestic travel, Australia recorded yet another breakthrough: 117.4 million Australians spent a record $80.7 billion across the country.

The findings come with the release of Tourism Research Australia’s international and domestic visitor surveys.

In terms of the international visitor survey, the findings supported a three per cent growth in total trip spend from international visitors, which reached a record $45.4 billion.

There was growth in visitation across all purposes of travel over the year. Leading the way was employment, up four per cent to 212,000 visitors.

Education and holiday travel were also up three per cent to 594,000 and 4 million visitors, respectively.

The most popular activities undertaken by holiday visitors to Australia were eating out (91 per cent), shopping (81 per cent), sightseeing (80 per cent) and going to the beach (71 per cent).

North American and European visitors, including those from the UK, were the most adventurous holidaymakers, with higher participation rates across most activities.

In addition, the research also showed the Asian market was the top contributor to the growth in international tourism, providing 88 per cent of the additional $1.5 billion spend gained in 2019, and 69 per cent of the 185,000-visitor increase.

Despite double-digit percentage growth over much of the last decade, TRA noted China saw a plateau in visitation, with numbers steadying at 1.3 million.

However, spend was up six per cent to $12.4 billion due mainly to growth from high spending Chinese students.

Domestic travel hits record $80.7bn spend

New South Wales took the largest piece of the pie, with 39 million domestic visitors and $23.7 billion in expenditure (iStock.com/Yiran An)

Domestic overnight travel also continued to perform well over the year ending December 2019, with 117.4 million visitors spending a record $80.7 billion (up 12 per cent). Total tourism spend also reached a record $152.4 billion.

New South Wales was the most popular for interstate domestic visits, while the Northern Territory was the least with 1.7 million visitors over the course of the year, adding up to $2.2 billion in expenditure.

Transport ($24.7 billion), food and drink ($22.4 billion) and accommodation ($20.3 billion) contributed most to Australia’s total domestic overnight spend over the year.

In addition, two-thirds of domestic overnight trips (79.1 million) were for intrastate travel, though interstate travel generated greater spend overall (56 per cent or $45.0 billion).

Interstate trips ($1,173) were found to cost more on average per person than intrastate trips ($452), primarily due to greater transport expenses and longer trip durations.

And in terms of lodgings, domestic visitor nights were most often spent at a friend’s or relative’s property (34 per cent); in hotels, motels and resorts (24 per cent); and caravanning and camping (14 per cent).

Data critical in outlining baseline for COVID-19 recovery: ATIC

According to the Australian Tourism Industry Council’s executive director, Simon Westaway, the release of this latest visitor snapshot will provide policymakers integral data to help them plan for the future after COVID-19.

“Australian tourism enterprises, wider players in our industry and governments continue to rely and engage around this detailed quarterly research which tracks both domestic and international tourism within Australia,” Westaway said.

“This data delivery sets continual benchmarks and now policymakers have the representative statistical baseline right before the dual impacts of bushfires and COVID-19, which transpired from the beginning of 2020, from which to help industry address future recovery.”

To check out the findings of Tourism Research Australia’s latest international visitor survey, click here. And to read the latest domestic international visitor survey, click here.

Featured image: iStock.com/zetter

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Aussie states and territories restrict NZ arrivals after Auckland declared a Commonwealth hotspot

by Huntley Mitchell

The trans-Tasman travel plans of Kiwis have once again been thrown into disarray thanks to a concerning COVID cluster in Auckland.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA’s interim survey results reveal “distressing” statistics, says Rudd

AFTA has released interim results of its ‘Travelsectorkeeper’ survey, and they make for some pretty grim reading, according to CEO Darren Rudd.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

American Airlines confirms pilot saw UFO, says to contact the FBI

by Ali Coulton

We don’t know about you, but we see this as proof enough to start constructing tinfoil hats and heading for the hills.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Here’s how Scotland is embracing the ‘new normal’

While international travel may be at a standstill, Scottish tourism businesses have kept busy adapting services for their guests and local communities.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch on your eyes rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments