Disruptions to the visitor economy
A successful tourism industry relies on person-to-person interactions and the freedom to travel. As a result, Australia’s visitor economy in 2020-21 was overly affected by:
- international and state and territory border closures
- local lockdowns and mobility restrictions
- social distancing and capacity limits at venues
- health and safety concerns
- travel planning uncertainties
- accommodation, transport and workforce constraints
- new COVID-19 variants.
These led to a large downturn in tourism demand in 2020-21. This followed a very challenging 2019-20 (Figure 1). Compared with pre-pandemic demand of 2018-19:
- international visitors and spend in 2020-21 were down 98%
- domestic overnight visitors were down 23%, with spend falling 21%
- domestic day trip visitors were down 24%, with spend falling 22%.