National Visitor Survey MONTHLY Snapshot

August 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a large 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

August 2020

$3.0 billion

Down 53% on August 2019

Overnight trips

August 2020

5.2 million

Down 40% on August 2019

Nights spent on trip

August 2020

18.7 million

Down 39% on August 2019

Domestic tourism January to August 2020

  • There were losses of $24.7 billion (47%) to domestic overnight tourism since the start of 2020 to the end of August. This was due to the impacts of bushfires and COVID-19.
  • A further $6.5 billion was lost through domestic daytrips since the start of 2020. This brought total domestic losses to $31.2 billion compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Domestic overnight travel continued to be severely affected by COVID-19 in August 2020. However, results in some states (Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory) improved. This was due to stronger intrastate travel.
  • Continued closure of interstate borders and Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 stifled further improvement at the national level. Results remained similar to July.
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by state, January to August 2020
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by state, January to July 2020
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by month, Australia
Change in domestic overnight trips and spend by state, January to July 2020

Overnight trips and spend August 2020

  • There was a softening in the number of visitors and spend in New South Wales in August 2020 (down 38% and 51% respectively). This was due to a deterioration in interstate travel from Victoria and Queensland that, unlike some other states, was not offset by an increase in intrastate travel.
  • Overall, overnight trips fell 40% to 5.2 million. Spend fell further, down 53% to $3.0 billion (a loss of $3.3 billion on August 2019).
  • The larger decline in spend can be attributed to large losses in higher value interstate travel. This was due to:
    • border closures
    • limited capacity to participate in various activities due to social distancing rules

Regional visitors and spend August 2020

  • August results show that regional areas fared better than capital cities. For example, domestic overnight trip spend in Sydney dropped 85%, compared with 28% in regional New South Wales. Spend in Brisbane and the Gold Coast also fell 49% compared with 6% for regional Queensland.
  • Some regional areas recorded increased numbers of domestic overnight visitors during August. This includes:
    • Queensland (up 3%)
    • Western Australia (up 4%)
    • South Australia (up 6%)

Data tables

NVS results monthly data tables

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


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