Visitors

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8.1 million increase 6%

Nights

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257 million no change 5%

Spend

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$41.5 billion increase 6%

Key findings

  • International visitors and spend were both down 6% to 8.1 million and $41.5 billion respectively for the year ending March 2020. This was underpinned by a 28% fall in visitors and 27% drop in spend (down $3.9 billion) in the March quarter.
  • There was a decline in visitation for most travel purposes during the year ending March 2020, with the largest falls observed for business travel with visitors down 8% to 925,000 and spend down 15% to $3.6 billion.
  • Australia’s top 5 international markets all recorded a decline in visitor numbers and spend in the year ending March 2020. China recorded the largest fall in visitors down 19% to 1.1 million, while spend also fell 15% to $10.2 billion.
  • During Australia’s summer, many regions were devastated by bushfires while others were affected by poor air quality due to heavy smoke. In New South Wales and Victoria, where the bushfire impacts were most widespread, international visitor numbers dropped 2% and 3% respectively during January.
  • Around 14% of international visitors reported being impacted in some way by the bushfires during the March quarter 2020, with 34% of those impacted changing their trip itinerary and 33% cancelling or postponing activities.
  • New monthly estimates produced by TRA show that the effects of COVID-19 started to take hold in February 2020, with international visitors down 25% and spend down 39% to $3.8 billion. This escalated in March with 60% fewer visitors and spend down 49% to $1.9 billion.