Australia’s tourism recovery hits bump in the road

New data from Tourism Research Australia shows slowdown for domestic and international visitor levels, Janie Medbury reports.

OVERSEAS visitors are taking less trips and spending less money Down Under, according to TRA’s newly released Monthly Snapshot for August. Travellers spent $2.1 billion across 551,000 trips throughout the month – a notable decline from the $3.5 billion spent and 556,000 trips taken in the month prior.

In July 2023, international visitor spend had recovered to 98% of pre-COVID levels, while trip numbers had bounced back to 80%. August, however, saw those figures fall to 85% and 78%, respectively. Australia’s regional destinations saw the biggest slump, declining from a 70% recovery in trip numbers and 89% recoup in spend in July, to 65% and 68% respectively in the month following.

Australia’s international visitor levels have been hampered by China’s slow return, with the South Asian country significantly lagging behind other big source markets. Chinese visitor spend dropped from 84% of 2019 value to 58% in August compared to July, while trip volumes shrunk from 54% to 48%.

Other major markets have continued on a strong growth trajectory, however, with August seeing Japan recover to 69% of pre-pandemic levels, while New Zealand improved to 84% and the United States and India both rose to 92%.

Australia’s domestic tourism for the month paints a similar picture, with overnight trips, trip length and overnight spend all trending down compared to July. The $9.7 billion spent during domestic trips declined by around 3%, while trip numbers slowed by around 10%.

Western Australia and Queensland were the only states to record a rise in domestic overnight visitor expenditure in August, tracking an improvement of around 15% and 8%, respectively, compared to the prior month.

Subscribe To travelBulletin