Domestic tourism December 2022

Tourism Research Australia’s (TRA’s) monthly snapshots estimate tourism activity in the related month. TRA also produces quarterly and annual summaries.

This report compares the month of December 2022 with the pre-pandemic month of December 2019.

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Overnight spend

$7.9 billion | Up 28% on December 2019

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Overnight trips

9.0 million | Down 8% on December 2019

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Nights spend on trip

32.1 million | Down 6% on December 2019

Key results

December 2022 results saw higher overnight trips, nights and spend. This was in comparison to December 2021 following the Delta variant outbreak. When compared to December 2019 (pre-pandemic), December 2022 overnight spend was up 28%. However, overnight trips and nights spent away were down by 8% and 6% respectively.

The increase in spend when compared to December 2019 saw:

  • increased average spend per trip (up 38%)
  • increased spend on holiday travel (up 39%)
  • increased spending across all major expenditure items. The largest increases were on:
    • accommodation
    • food & drinks
    • airfares.

Breakdown of results

In December 2022:

  • spend was up 28% ($1.7 billion) on December 2019 to $7.9 billion
  • there were 9.0 million overnight trips. This was down 8% compared to December 2019.
  • visitors spent 32.1 million nights away. This was down 6% compared to December 2019.
  • there were strong spend results in all state and territories except for Tasmania. The highest increase was in Queensland, which was up 49% or $690 million.
  • travellers were spending more money on average and taking longer trips. The average spend per trip was up $244 (38%) to $878.

The December results for overnight trips and nights were softer compared to pre-pandemic. However, early data shows domestic overnight trip rates are significantly up. This was for January and the first 3 weeks of February 2023. Trip rates early in 2023 are higher than pre-pandemic levels.

The February 2023 trip rate shows 31% of NVS respondents interviewed in weeks 1-3, took one or more overnight trips. This was for the preceding 28 days (the reference period). The return date will be in January for some of these trips.

The trip estimate of 9.0 million for December refers to overnight trips returned from in that month.

Spend exceeds pre-pandemic levels for main travel purposes

Spend across the main travel purposes has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

  • holiday travel was up $1.1 billion or 39%
  • business travel was up $335 million or 24%
  • visiting friends and relatives was up $282 million or 17%.
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Domestic travellers are continuing to spend more when compared to pre-pandemic levels. In December 2022:

  • average spend per trip was $878, up 38% from $634 in December 2019
  • average spend per night was $246, up 36% from $181 in December 2019.

Interstate and intrastate visitors and spend

Interstate travel

Overnight spend for December 2022 was up on pre-pandemic levels. However, overnight trips and nights away were down.

In December 2022, Australians:

  • spent $4.1 billion. This was up 23% or $762 million on December 2019.
  • took 2.7 million interstate overnight trips. This was down 13% or 391,000 on the 3.0 million trips recorded in December 2019.
  • visitors spent 13.0 million nights away interstate. This was down 13% or 1.9 million on December 2019

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

  • Queensland – up $267 million or 46%
  • Victoria – up $209 million or 38%.

Intrastate travel

Intrastate trips saw continued strong spend results when compared to December 2019. In December 2022, Australians:

  • spent $3.9 billion. This was up 33% or $956 million on December 2019.
  • took 6.4 million intrastate overnight trips. This was down 6% or 372,000 on the 6.7 million trips recorded in December 2019.
  • visitors spent 19.2 million nights away. This was down 1% or 271,000 compared to the 19.5 million nights away in December 2019.

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

  • Queensland – up $423 million or 52%
  • Victoria – up $250 million or 32%.

Domestic day trips

Australians took 21.0 million day trips and spent $3.5 billion in December 2022.

Compared to a pre-COVID December 2019 this was a:

  • 32% increase in spend
  • 11% decrease in day trips.

National Visitor Survey results monthly data tables

Contact TRA

mail   tourism.research@tra.gov.au