Domestic tourism May 2022

Our monthly snapshots make it easier to monitor changes in Australian tourism activity. You can view results each month or quarterly.

We usually compare data with the same period in the previous year. In this report, we make comparisons with 2019 figures (unless noted). This is to see changes from before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overnight spend

May 2022
$7.7 billion
Up 33% on May 2019

Overnight trips

May 2022
9.2 million
Down 2% on May 2019

Nights spent on trip

May 2022
30.8 million
Up 2% on May 2019

Key results

May 2022 showed improved domestic travel after a COVID-impacted 2020 and 2021. In a positive sign, overnight spend (up 33%) and nights spent away (up 2%) were up on pre-pandemic levels. However, overnight trips remained down slightly (down 2%).

The increase in spend when compared to May 2019 saw:

  • strong spend results in all states and territories
  • continued improvement in interstate travel
  • increased spending on:
    • accommodation
    • food and drink
    • shopping
    • petrol.

Breakdown of results

In May 2022:

  • there were 9.2 million overnight trips. This was down 2% on May 2019
  • spend was up 33% ($1.9 billion) to $7.7 billion
  • visitors spent 30.8 million nights away. This was up 2% on May 2019
  • there were strong spend results in all state and territories. The highest increases in spend were in:
    • Northern Territory (NT) – up 144% or $223 million
    • Tasmania (Tas) – up 61% or $107 million
    • South Australia (SA) – up 50% or $163 million
  • visitor numbers had not returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, travellers were spending more money on average. The average spend per trip was up $219 or 35% to $842 when compared to May 2019.

Compared to June and July 2021, early data shows domestic overnight trip rates for June and the first 3 weeks of July 2022 were up. However, this was still below pre-pandemic levels.

Hover over the bars of the relevant state or territory to show total figures.

Hover on the line over the relevant month to show total figures.

The trip rate for July 2022 tells us 29.47% of NVS respondents interviewed in weeks 1, 2 and 3 reported taking one or more overnight trips in the preceding 28 days (the reference period). The return date will have been in June for some of these trips.

The trip estimate of 9.2 million for the month of May refers to overnight trips returned from in that month.

Interstate and intrastate visitors and spend

Interstate travel

May 2022 saw strong results for interstate travel. Overnight spend was up on pre-pandemic levels whilst overnight interstate trips were similar to pre-pandemic levels. In May 2022, Australians:

  • took 2.9 million interstate overnight trips. This was:
    • up 12% on the 2.6 million trips recorded in May 2021
    • on par with the 2.9 million trips recorded in May 2019.
  • spent $4.3 billion. This was:
    • up 32% on $1.0 billion on May 2019
    • up 24% or $824 million on May 2021

The strongest growth in interstate spend compared to 2019 was in:

  • NT – up 153% or $186 million
  • SA – up 90% or $149 million
  • Qld – up 63% or $385 million

Interstate spend contributed a 55% share to total spend, down 1% from the 56% share of total spend pre-pandemic.

Intrastate travel

Intrastate trips were down in May compared to pre-pandemic levels but showed improvement against the previous year. Spend was up strongly compared to both the previous year and pre-pandemic levels.

In May 2022, Australians:

  • took 6.3 million intrastate overnight trips. This was:
    • up 13% on the 5.6 million in May 2021
    • down 2% on the 6.4 million in May 2019.
  • spent $3.5 billion on intrastate overnight trips. It was up:
    • 19% or $546 million on May 2021
    • 34% or $868 million on May 2019.

Regional and capital city visitors and spend

Capital cities

Results for Australia’s capital cities continued to improve in May 2022. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, overnight trips were down but spend was up.

In May 2022, Australians:

  • took 3.8 million overnight trips to capital cities
  • spent $3.8 billion. 

Compared to May 2021, this was a:

  • 16% increase in overnight trips
  • 33% increase in spend.

Compared to a pre-COVID May 2019, this was a:

  • 5% fall in overnight trips
  • 28% increase in spend.

Regional areas

Regional areas continued to perform well in May 2022. Overnight visitors were up on both May 2021 and pre-pandemic levels.

In May 2022, Australians:

  • took 5.9 million overnight trips to regional areas
  • spent $4.0 billion.

Compared to May 2021, this was a:

  • 12% increase in overnight trips
  • 22% increase in spend.

Compared to a pre-COVID May 2019, there was a:

  • 5% increase in overnight trips
  • 38% increase in spend.

Domestic day trips

Australians took 15.9 million day trips and spent $2.1 billion in May 2022.

Compared to a pre-COVID May 2019, this was a:

  • 21% fall in day trips
  • 2% fall in spend.