National Visitor Survey MONTHLY Snapshot

January 2021

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 quarter
  • compare results for the previous month and year.

Overnight spend

January 2021

$7.8 billion

Down 16% on January 2020

Overnight trips

January 2021

9.4 million

Down 12% on January 2020

Nights spent on trip

January 2021

47.8 million

Down 7% on January 2020

Domestic tourism January 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a significant impact on Australia’s domestic tourism market. Improvement seen in recent months for domestic travel continued in January, despite localised COVID-19 outbreaks.

  • Australians took more overnight trips in January than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
  • The New Year holiday period saw most states and territories record increases in visitors and spend compared to December 2020.
  • Intrastate travel continued to drive the recovery in domestic overnight travel from the lows of April and May 2020. Intrastate overnight visitors were up 3% to 7.7 million and spend was up 17% to $5.3 billion.

Domestic overnight trips and spend

  • Overnight trips fell 12% to 9.4 million and spend fell 16% to $7.8 billion. This was a loss of $1.5 billion on January 2020.
  • The improvements seen in the lucrative interstate market during December slowed in January. This was due to the return of some state border restrictions. Interstate trips fell 47% and spend fell 49% (or $2.3 billion) on January 2020.

Domestic day trips and spend

  • Domestic day trips fell 17% to 17.5 million and spend fell 19% to $1.9 billion. This was a loss of $434 million on January 2020.

Regional visitors and spend January 2021

Regional areas continue to fare better than capital cities.

  • Capital cities recorded losses of $1.9 billion in spend (down 48%). This was due to the loss of 1.5 million overnight visitors (down 38% to 2.5 million).
  • Regional Australia recorded small increases in spend and overnight visitors. Overnight spend was up 7% or $358 million. Visitors were up by 1% or 38,000.
  • This contrast was most apparent in New South Wales (NSW) where there were restrictions placed on areas of Greater Sydney. This was the result of a new COVID-19 outbreak:
    • Sydney overnight spend fell 74% (down $538 million). Visitors fell 63% to 329,000.
    • Regional NSW overnight spend increased 11% (up $206 million).Visitors increased 5% to 2.7 million. The number of nights stayed were also up 12% compared with the same period last year.
  • Regional areas in other states also recorded increases in spend and nights in comparison to the same period last year. This included:
    • regional Victoria – spend up 9% and nights up 10%
    • regional Queensland – spend up 4% and nights up 15%
    • regional South Australia – spend up 9% and nights up 12%
    • regional Western Australia – spend up 7% and nights up 10%.    

Data tables

NVS results monthly data tables

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


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