National Visitor Survey MONTHLY Snapshot

October 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a significant impact on Australia’s domestic tourism market. Our monthly snapshots make it easier to monitor changes in tourism activity in your state or territory and nationally. You can:

  • view results each month or quarterly
  • compare results for the previous month and year

Overnight spend

October 2020

$4.8 billion

Down 39% on October 2019

Overnight trips

October 2020

6.8 million

Down 33% on October 2019

Nights spent on trip

October 2020

25.5 million

Down 30% on October 2019

Domestic tourism January to October 2020

Domestic overnight travel continued to be affected by COVID-19 in October 2020. However, the impacts eased at the national level.

  • Visitor numbers and spend reached levels not seen since February 2020 before the pandemic. This was due to increasing intrastate travel overall. School holidays were also a driver.
  • Early national data suggests there may be further improvement at the end of 2020. However, the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney in the lead up to Christmas will have an impact.

Domestic overnight spend

  • Domestic overnight tourism saw losses of $31.8 billion (down 47%) from the start of 2020 to the end of October. This was due to the impacts of bushfires and COVID-19.
  • Interstate travel accounts for $25.5 billion or 80% of the total loss in domestic overnight spend.

Domestic day trip spend

  • Domestic day trips saw further losses of $8.1 billion (down 37%) since the start of the year. This brings total domestic losses to $39.9 billion (down 45%) compared to 2019.
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by state, January to October 2020
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by state, January to October 2020
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by month, Australia
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by month, Australia

Overnight trips and spend October 2020

  • Overnight trips fell 33% to 6.8 million and spend fell 39% to $4.8 billion. This was a loss of $3.0 billion from October 2019. These were the smallest monthly declines since the start of the pandemic.   
  • Interstate trips and spend declined 78% and 83% respectively in October 2020.
  • In comparison, intrastate trips fell 7% but spend increased by 29%. This was most likely due to travellers taking longer trips on average in their home state over the school holidays.   
  • The strong intrastate results are due to increased spending in these states:
    • New South Wales 28%
    • Queensland 15%
    • South Australia 19%
    • Western Australia 36%
    • Tasmania 28%
    • Northern Territory 114%.
  • Victoria, however, suffered a large decline in intrastate spend (down 73%) due to lockdown measures at the time.

Regional visitors and spend January to October 2020

October results show that regional areas continue to fare better than capital cities.

  • Capital cities recorded substantial losses in visitors and spend for the year to October. Compared to the same period last year, spend was down by 61%, or $20.0 billion.
  • In comparison, regional Australia saw a smaller loss of 33% or $11.8 billion in spend for the year to October.

Regional visitors and spend October 2020

While capital cities continued to record declines in domestic overnight spend, some regional areas recorded increases.

  • Domestic overnight trip spend in Sydney fell 71% to $238 million. This is compared with an increase of 22% to $1.6 billion for regional New South Wales.
  • Adelaide and Perth had losses in spend of 65% and 59% respectively. However, regional South Australia and Western Australia saw gains of 11% and 37% respectively.

Data tables

NVS results monthly data tables

See the monthly data for overnight and day travel by state and territory


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