International Visitor Survey results December 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on international travel to Australia. Our data shows the effects of this on Australia’s tourism industry.

You can:

  • read about the factors influencing international travel to Australia
  • see the changes compared over the various timeframes impacted by bushfires and Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Quarterly snapshot

International visitor spend


Year ending December 2020
$11.0 billion
Down 76%

International visitors


Year ending December 2020
1.7 million
Down 80%

Visitor nights


Year ending Decemer 2020
69 million
Down 75%

Key results

Total international and domestic tourism losses for the year ending December 2020 reached $78.3 billion.

Australia’s international border restrictions came into place in March due to COVID-19. Since then:

  • international visitor numbers fell by 80% to 1.7 million for the year ending December 2020
  • international visitor spend was down by 76% to $11.0 billion. This was a loss of $34.3 billion compared to the year ending December 2019
  • visitor nights were down 75% to 69 million.

Overall, international tourism saw losses of $34.3 billion (down 76%) for the year ending December 2020. This was due to the impacts of COVID-19. Most losses ($22.3 billion) occurred in the last 6 months from July to December 2020.

Over the same period, there were further losses of:

  • $35.1 billion from domestic overnight travel
  • $8.9 billion from domestic day travel.

Australia’s top 5 markets

Australia’s top 5 markets saw significant losses.

China

China saw flat results even prior to 2020. In the year ending December 2019, there was no change in visitor numbers and spend was up only 6% on 2018.

From early 2020, China started to see losses in both visitors and spend. It recorded falls of 58% in visitors and 46% in spend in the March quarter. This was due to COVID-19 travel restrictions on Chinese visitors from 1 February onwards.

Visitor numbers for China fell 86% to 184,000. Spend was down 78% ($9.7 billion) overall for the year ending December 2020.

New Zealand

New Zealand visitor numbers fell 83% to 221,000. Spend fell 80% for the year ending December 2020. This was a loss of $2.1 billion.

United States of America

The United States of America saw a 76% drop in visitors to 182,000. There was a 72% fall in spend for the year ending December 2020. This was a loss of $2.8 billion.

Japan

Visitors from Japan fell by 81% to 87,000. Spend fell 79% for the year ending December 2020. This was a loss of $1.7 billion.

United Kingdom

There was slightly less impact for the United Kingdom, with visitors down 71% to 194,000 and spend down 69%. This was a loss of $2.3 billion.

Data tables

International Visitor Survey results data tables

Read the summary results for the year ending December 2020

https://www.tra.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/185/IVS_TOURISM_RESULTS_YE_DEC_2020.xlsx.aspx

Read more

Read the International Visitor Survey methodologyhttps://www.tra.gov.au/International/ivs-methodology

Contact us

Email Tourism.Research@tra.gov.au