Tourism Research Australia data shows international travel’s boom has hindered domestic growth

Airplane in hand with national flag on background - Australia
Edited by Travel Weekly

    New data included in Tourism Research Australia’s annual five-year forecast highlights that domestic travel in Australia has gone backwards in 2023 following a strong rebound last year.

    Data highlights a forecast 4.1 per cent drop in domestic visitor nights this year compared to last and suggests domestic travel will still be down 2.6 per cent by 2027.

    The report flags increased competition with international outbound travel, rising cost of living pressures and lower discretionary spending as key barriers to domestic travel.

    International travel, on the other hand, continues to climb and is expected to reach record heights in 2025 with the arrival of an estimated 10 million overseas arrivals to Australia.

    Don Farrell, Australia’s tourism minister said it is great to see an increase in overseas arrivals.

    “A thriving tourism industry is crucial to our economic prosperity, with every dollar spent in the visitor economy generating a further 81 cents for other parts of the economy,” Farrell told the Australian. 

    “Tourism is a major export earner and employer. One in eight Australian businesses is tourism-related and it is the lifeblood of so many Australian communities.”

    Dean Long, the CEO of the Australian Travel Industry Association said budget-savvy travellers are finding more value in international travel.

    “(2022) was actually the high water mark for domestic tourism, because you had this moment when the (international) border was still ‘closed’ even when it was open because it was cost-prohibitive to travel overseas,” Long told the Australian.

    “As we’ve had more airline capacity added, and some of the airfares are coming off the record highs we had. People are looking at value and they’re looking at price.

    “Those two things for international travel are now as attractive as they’ve ever been.”

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