visitors icon

8.7 million increase 2%


nights icon

274 million no change 0%


spend icon

$45.4 billion increase 3%

Key findings

  • Australia saw record numbers of international visitors aged 15 years and over for the year to December 2019 with 8.7 million arrivals - 2% more than the previous year. This supported a 3% growth in total trip spend, which reached a record $45.4 billion.
  • The Asian market was the top contributor to the growth in international tourism, providing 88% of the additional $1.5 billion spend gained in 2019, and 69% of the 185,000 visitor increase.
  • Despite double-digit percentage growth over much of the last decade, China saw a plateau in visitation with numbers steady at 1.3 million. However, spend was up 6% to $12.4 billion due mainly to growth from high spending Chinese students.
  • There was growth in visitation across all purposes of travel over the year. Leading the way was employment, up 4% to 212,000 visitors; and education and holiday travel up 3% to 594,000 and 4 million visitors respectively.
  • The most popular activities undertaken by holiday visitors to Australia were eating out (91%), shopping (81%), sightseeing (80%) and going to the beach (71%). North American and European (incl. UK) visitors were the most adventurous holiday makers, with higher participation rates across most activities.