Domestic tourism March 2022

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

We usually compare data with the same period in the previous year. In this report, we make comparisons with 2019 figures (unless noted). This is to see changes from before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overnight spend

March 2022
$6.8 billion
Up 6% on March 2019

Overnight trips

March 2022
8.3 million
Down 17% on March 2019

Nights spent on trip

March 2022
27.7 million
Down 9% on March 2019

Key results

Domestic travel in March 2022 was still affected following a COVID-impacted 2020 and 2021. This was particularly the case for visitor numbers and nights spent away. A positive sign was that overnight spend was up on pre-pandemic levels.

The increase in spend when compared to March 2019 showed:

  • Queensland (Qld) – up 25%
  • New South Wales (NSW) – up 11%
  • increased spending on:
    • accommodation
    • food and drink
    • shopping.

Breakdown of results

In March 2022:

  • there were 8.3 million overnight trips. This was down 17% on March 2019
  • spend was up 6% ($356 million) to $6.8 billion
  • visitor numbers were lower than pre-pandemic levels for all states and territories
  • there were strong spend results in:
    • Qld – up 25% or $369 million
    • NSW – up 11% or $195 million
  • spend results were down on March 2019 for:
    • Western Australia
    • Tasmania
    • Northern Territory
    • the Australian Capital Territory. 

Early data shows domestic overnight trip rates for April and the first 3 weeks of May 2022 were down in comparison to April 2021. However, this was up on May 2021.

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.

The trip rate for May 2022 tells us 33.8% of NVS respondents interviewed in weeks 1, 2 and 3 reported taking one or more overnight trips in the preceding 28 days (the reference period). The return date will have been in April for some of these trips.

The trip estimate of 8.3 million for the month of March refers to overnight trips returned from in that month.

Overnight trips and spend

In March 2022, Australians:

  • took 8.3 million overnight trips
  • spent $6.8 billion
  • stayed 27.7 million nights.

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

  • 17% fall in overnight trips
  • 6% increase in spend
  • 9% fall in nights stayed.

Interstate and intrastate visitors and spend

Interstate travel

Interstate travel continued to improve in March. However, results were still down on pre-pandemic levels. In March 2022 Australians:

  • took 2.5 million interstate overnight trips. This was:
    • up 16% on the 2.2 million trips recorded in March 2021
    • down 20% on the 3.2 million trips recorded in March 2019 (pre-pandemic)
  • spent $3.4 billion. This was:
    • up 23% or $642 million on March 2021
    • down 1% or $31 million on March 2019.

Interstate spend contributed a 51% share to total spend. This is an improvement on:

  • January 2022 (37% share)
  • February 2022 (43% share).

The strongest growth in interstate spend was in Qld. Interstate spend was 50% ($294 million) higher than in March 2019 (pre-pandemic).

Intrastate travel

Intrastate trips were down in March. However, spend remained strong. In March 2022 Australians:

  • took 5.8 million intrastate overnight trips. This was:
    • down 7% on the 6.2 million in March 2021
    • down 16% on the 6.9 million in March 2019 (pre-pandemic)
  • spent $3.3 billion on intrastate overnight trips. It was up:
    • 3% or $88 million in March 2021
    • 13% or $387 million in March 2019.

Losses to the pandemic

Interstate travel accounts for 97% of the losses in domestic overnight tourism since the start of the pandemic.

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

Regional and capital city visitors and spend

Capital cities

Results for Australia’s capital cities continued to improve in March 2022:

  • Overnight trips were up 4% on March 2021.
  • Spend was up 23% on March 2021.

However, results were still down on pre-pandemic levels.

In March 2022 Australians:

  • took 3.3 million overnight trips to capital cities
  • spent $3.0 billion.

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

  • 23% fall in overnight trips
  • 10% fall in spend.

Regional areas

Regional areas continued to perform well in March 2022. Overnight visitors were down when compared to both March 2021 and March 2019. However, spend was up.

In March 2022 Australians:

  • took 5.4 million overnight trips to regional areas
  • spent $3.8 billion.

Compared to a pre-COVID March 2019, there was a:

  • 13% fall in overnight trips
  • 22% rise in spend.

Domestic day trips

Australians took 14.1 million day trips and spent $2.1 billion in March 2022. Compared to a pre-COVID March 2019, this was a:

  • 35% fall in day trips
  • 2% fall in spend.