October 2021

Our monthly snapshots make it easier to monitor changes in Australian tourism activity. You can view results each month or quarterly.

Typically, monthly results are compared with the same month in the previous year. However, we have compared this month’s results with October 2019 rather than the COVID-19-affected October 2020. For completeness, in October 2020 Australians took 6.8 million overnight trips (down 33%) and spent $4.8 billion (down 39%).

Overnight spend

October 2021
$3.8 billion
Down 51% on October 2019

Overnight trips

October 2021
5.3 million
Down 48% on October 2019

Nights spent on trip

October 2021
19.8 million
Down 46% on October 2019

Domestic tourism October 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australia’s domestic tourism market.

October saw a slight improvement in overall results compared to September 2021. This was due to easing lockdowns and restrictions across New South Wales (NSW). However, lockdowns continued in Victoria (Vic) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This means domestic tourism remained well down on pre-COVID levels.

In October 2021:

  • there were 5.3 million overnight trips, down 48% on October 2019
  • spend was down 51% ($4.0 billion) to $3.8 billion
  • spend declined most in NSW, Vic and the ACT. Spend in:
    • NSW was down 79% to $443 million
    • Vic was down 84% to $265 million
    • the ACT was down 97% to $5 million.
  • Queensland (Qld) (40%) and Western Australia (WA) (23%) contributed most to national overnight spend. NSW and Vic shares were only 12% and 7% respectively. This was down from 27% and 21% in October 2019.

Early data shows domestic travel results will improve in November and early December as restrictions and border closures eased.

Overnight trips and spend

In October 2021, Australians:

  • took 5.3 million overnight trips
  • spent $3.8 billion
  • stayed 19.8 million nights.

Compared to a pre-COVID October 2019, this was a:

  • 48% fall in overnight trips
  • 51% fall in spend
  • 46% fall in nights stayed.

Hover over the bars of the relevant state or territory to show total figures.

Hover on the line over the relevant month to show total figures.

Hover on the line over the relevant month to show total figures.

The trip rate for January 2022 tells us 33.03% of NVS respondents interviewed in weeks 1 and 2 reported taking one or more overnight trips in the preceding 28 days (the reference period). The return date will have been in December for some of these trips.

The trip estimate of 5.3 million for the month of October refers to overnight trips returned from in that month.

Interstate and intrastate visitors and spend

Interstate travel

State border restrictions heavily reduced interstate travel. In October 2021, Australians:

  • took 374,000 interstate overnight trips, down 90% on October 2019
  • spent $695 million, down 85% ($4.0 billion) on October 2019.

Intrastate travel

Due to strong results in Qld, South Australia (SA), WA and Tasmania (Tas), intrastate travel suffered less. However, it was still down on pre-COVID levels. In October 2021, Australians:

  • took 4.9 million intrastate overnight trips, down 24% on October 2019
  • spent $3.1 billion, on par with October 2019
  • contributed 82% to total spend, up from 40% in October 2019.

Regional and capital city visitors and spend

Regional areas continued to fare better than capital cities.

Capital cities

In October 2021, Australians:

  • took 1.6 million overnight trips to capital cities
  • spent $1.2 billion.

Compared to pre-COVID October 2019, this was a:

  • 64% fall in overnight trips
  • 70% fall in spend.

Regional areas

In contrast, Australians:

  • took 3.7 million overnight trips to regional areas
  • spent $2.6 billion.

Compared to pre-COVID October 2019, this was a:

  • 39% fall in overnight trips
  • 33% fall in spend.

Domestic day trips

Australians took 11.9 million day trips and spent $1.3 billion in October 2021.

Compared to pre-COVID October 2019, this was a:

  • 39% fall in day trips
  • 40% fall in spend.

National Visitor Survey results monthly data tables

Type Title Size Date
Monthly data for overnight and day travel by state and territory as compared to October 2020 (XLSX) 160KB 21/01/22
Monthly data for overnight and day travel by state and territory as compared to October 2019 (XLSX) 160KB 21/01/22

Contact us

Email tourism.research@tra.gov.au