Year ending December 2021

COVID-19 had a large impact on international travel to Australia over the past two years. 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 COVID-19.

Note: The summary results are compared to the year ending December 2019 (pre-COVD period). This is because the results for the year ending December 2020 were a large deviation from pre-pandemic levels.

Quarterly snapshot

International visitor spend

Year ending December 2021
$2.4 billion
Down 94.8%

International visitor numbers

Year ending December 2021
Down 97.4%

Nights spent in Australia

Year ending December 2021
16.5 million
Down 94.0%

Key results

Key results for the year ending December 2021 include:

  • International visitor numbers fell by 97.4% to 223,736.
  • International visitor spend was down 94.8% to $2.4 billion.
  • Visitor nights were down 94.0% to 16.5 million.

Australia’s top 5 markets

Australia’s top 5 international visitor markets saw large losses:

  • Chinese visitor numbers fell 99.5%. This was a loss of 1.3 million visitors. Spend fell 98.7% or $12.2 billion.
  • New Zealand visitor numbers fell 93.2%. This was a loss of 1.2 million visitors. Spend fell 88.8% or $2.3 billion. New Zealand saw the smallest losses of all markets, recording 89,000 visitors. This was 40% of all visitors to Australia for the year ending December 2021. This was due to a trans-Tasman bubble opening between the two countries during the June quarter 2021. The bubble operated on and off to the end of the year.
  • The United States of America visitor numbers fell 98.1%. This was a loss of 752,000 visitors. Spend fell 94.0% or $3.7 billion.
  • United Kingdom visitor numbers fell 97.1%. This was a loss of 652,000 visitors. Spend fell 91.3% or $3.1 billion.
  • Japanese visitor numbers fell 99.6%. This was a loss of 456,000 visitors. Spend fell 99.1% or $2.1 billion.

Tourism losses COVID-19 period

March 2020 to December 2021

Total international and domestic tourism losses since the start of the pandemic (March 2020) reached $146.6 billion.

International tourism saw losses of $72.8 billion overall for March 2020 to December 2021. This was due to international border closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the same period, there were more losses of:

  • $56.2 billion from domestic overnight travel
  • $17.6 billion from domestic day travel.

International Visitor Survey results data tables

Type Title Size Date
Read the summary results for the year ending December 2021 as compared to December 2020 19KB 30/03/22
Read the summary results for the year ending December 2021 as compared to December 2019 19KB 30/03/22

Read more

Read the International Visitor Survey methodology.

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