Each year, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) publishes a summary of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ counts of tourism businesses in Australia. The TRA summary categorises tourism businesses by:

  • industry sector
  • ­employment size­
  • organisational structure
  • business turnover
  • states, territories, and tourism regions.

Key findings

The report reveals there were 358,277 tourism businesses operating nationwide at 30 June 2022. This is 5.7% or 19,233 more businesses than the previous year.

Although the strongest increase since 2017-18, the growth is below the nationwide average growth rate in 2021-22 for all Australian businesses (7.0%). Nonetheless, even with this lower amount, 1 in 7 Australian businesses (14%) is directly connected to tourism.

Most of the growth in tourism business numbers in 2021-22 occurred in three industry sectors:

  • retail trade services (up by 7% or 10,422)
  • cafes, restaurants, and take-away services. This includes pubs, clubs, taverns, and bars (up by 5% or 4,735)
  • cultural, sports and recreation services (up by 10% or 3,390).

Small businesses form most of Australia’s tourism business sector. Of all tourism businesses in June 2022:

  • 48% or 172,263 were micro or small, with 1 to 19 employees
  • 47% or 169,897 had no employees other than the owner.

There were 11% or 16,416 additional non-employing tourism businesses in 2021-22. This accounted for 85% of the total increase over the previous year.

As at June 2022, 82% of tourism businesses were in New South Wales (117,781), Victoria (111,400) and Queensland (64,038). Although rates of growth varied, all states and territories saw an increase in tourism businesses in 2021-22.

Data tables

Find out more about tourism businesses in our data tables.

Type Title Description Size Date
Summary A snapshot of the changes in the number of tourism businesses over time. 185KB 29 March 2023
Industry and employment size data State and territory employment breakdown of businesses for different tourism industries. 255KB 29 March 2023
Organisational structure and turnover data Counts of tourism businesses by company structures and turnover over time. 193KB 29 March 2023
Geographic data Counts of tourism businesses across Australia’s states and territories and tourism regions. 228KB 29 March 2023

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