Domestic tourism February 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 2020 figures (unless noted). This is to see changes from before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overnight spend

$5.2 billion | Up 11% on February 2020

Overnight trips

7.1 million | Down 6% on February 2020

Nights spend on trip

24.3 million | Up 2% on February 2020

Key results

February 2022 showed continuing signs of recovery for domestic travel. This follows a COVID-impacted 2020 and 2021.

There was particular improvement in spend. Australians spent $5.2 billion on overnight trips in February 2022 (up 27% or $1.1 billion on February 2021).

The continued recovery for domestic travel was led by increases in:

  • interstate holiday and business travel
  • the length of stay of intrastate travellers.

Breakdown of results

In February 2022:

  • There were 7.1 million overnight trips. This was down 6% on February 2020.
  • Spend was up 11% ($510 million) to $5.2 billion. This was the highest increase in spend compared to the same month pre-pandemic in the past two years.
  • Visitor numbers were lower than pre-pandemic levels for most states and territories. However, there were exceptions for:
    • New South Wales – up 1%
    • Tasmania – up 13%.
  • There were strong spend results in:
    • Northern Territory – up 50% or $36 million
    • Tasmania – up 50% or $112 million
    • Queensland – up 30% pr $299 million
    • New South Wales – up 26% or $357 million. Note that the summer bushfires in 2020 greatly affected the results for February 2020.
  • Spend results for all other states and territories were down on February 2020.

Early data shows domestic overnight trip rates for March and April 2022 were below March and April 2021.

The trip rate for April 2022 tells us 30.7% of NVS respondents interviewed reported taking one or more overnight trips in the preceding 28 days (the reference period). The return date will have been in March for some of these trips.

The trip estimate of 7.1 million for the month of February refers to overnight trips returned from in that month.

Overnight trips and spend

In February 2022, Australians:

  • took 7.1 million overnight trips
  • spent $5.2 billion
  • stayed 24.3 million nights.

Compared to a pre-COVID February 2020, this was a:

  • 6% fall in overnight trips
  • 11% increase in spend
  • 2% increase in nights stayed.

Interstate and intrastate visitors and spend

Interstate travel

Interstate travel continued to improve in February. However, results were still down on pre-pandemic levels. In February 2022, Australians:

  • took 1.9 million interstate overnight trips. This was:
    • up 33% on the 1.4 million trips recorded in February 2021
    • down 17% on the 2.3 million trips recorded in February 2020 (pre-pandemic)
  • spent $2.3 billion. This was:
    • up 62% or $870 million on February 2021
    • down 7% or $181 million on February 2020.

Interstate spend contributed a 43% share to total spend. This is an improvement on January 2022 (37% share).

The strongest growth in interstate trips was to Queensland. Travel to the state was 18% higher than its pre-pandemic levels (February 2020).

Intrastate travel

Intrastate travel continued to do well in February. In February 2022, Australians:

  • took 5.2 million intrastate overnight trips. This was:
    • down 3% on 5.4 million in February 2021.
    • down 1% on the 5.3 million in February 2020 (pre-pandemic).
  • spent $3.0 billion on intrastate overnight trips. Spend was particularly strong. It was up:
    • 10% or $258 million on February 2021
    • 30% on $691 million on February 2020.

Losses from the pandemic

Interstate travel accounts for 96% of the losses in domestic overnight tourism since the start of the pandemic.


Regional and capital city visitors and spend

Capital cities

Results for Australia’s capital cities continued to show improvement in February 2022:

  • Overnight trips were up 3% on February 2021.
  • Spend was up 42% on February 2021.

However, results were still down on pre-pandemic levels.

In February 2022, Australians:

  • took 2.3 million overnight trips to capital cities
  • spent $2.0 billion.

Compared to a pre-COVID February 2020, this was a:

  • 29% fall in overnight trips
  • 16% fall in spend.

Regional areas

Regional areas continued to perform strongly in February 2022. Results were up on pre-pandemic levels.

In February 2022, Australians:

  • took 5.0 million overnight trips to regional areas
  • spent $3.2 billion.

Compared to a pre-COVID February 2020, there was a:

  • 9% increase in overnight trips
  • 39% rise in spend.

Domestic day trips

Australians took 13.8 million day trips and spent $1.6 billion in February 2022.

Compared to a pre-COVID February 2020, this was a:

  • 29% fall in day trips
  • 24% fall in spend.

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