Australia’s Tourism Industry on Track to Break Records


Mia Taylor

by Mia Taylor
Last updated: 6:05 PM ET, Mon June 24, 2024

Australia’s travel and tourism industry is on track to contribute more to the country’s economy in 2024 than any other previous year on record.

The industry is expected to generate a total of $265 billion for the Australian economy this year, according to a new Economic Impact Research (EIR) report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Australia’s travel industry fully rebounded back to pre-pandemic tourism levels in 2023 and is expected to continue robust growth over the coming decade, ultimately exceeding $345 billion by 2034.

Travel Industry-Related Job Growth

In addition to record contributions to the country’s economy, Australia’s travel and tourism sector is generating a steady slew of jobs.

In 2023, travel jobs surged by nearly 10 percent from the previous year, hitting 1.42 million, a figure that amounts to a tenth of the country’s national workforce.

The industry is expected to experience a full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of this year. By 2026, Australia’s travel industry job levels will surpass the country’s 2018 peak.

Over the coming decade the sector is expected to support more than two million jobs in Australia. That would amount to about 12 percent of all Australian employment, per WTTC.

Visitor Spending Also Surging Down Under

Australia’s domestic visitors set a new record for total spending in 2023, hitting $146 billion. That’s a new high since the last record year of 2018.

Similar to the travel industry’s GDP contributions in Australia, the upward trend in visitor spending is projected to continue for the coming decade until reaching $180 billion by 2034. For just 2024, domestic visitor spending is expected to amount to about $148 billion.

Overseas visitation levels to Australia are also soaring, despite the fact that Australia reopened its borders later than many other destinations worldwide.

For 2023, international visitor spending in the country surged 195 percent. That put Australia 10th globally for growth in international visitor spending. Last year, international visitor spending in the country amounted to $31.6 billion.

The forecast for this year suggests international visitor spending will continue to increase reaching about $35 billion. And by 2025, spend from international visitors will likely hit a new record.

By 2034, meanwhile, international visitor spending in Australia will amount to almost $52.5 billion.

As part of the report issued by the WTTC, the global agency said Australia continues to “break records and redefine benchmarks” all of which “underscores a future filled with promise and prosperity” for the country.

“With employment booming and spending by domestic visitors reaching unprecedented levels, the upcoming WTTC Global Summit in Western Australia is set to showcase a sector that’s not just rebounding, but truly thriving,” says the WTTC report.


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