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Each year, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) publishes a summary of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ counts of tourism businesses in Australia. The TRA summary categorises tourism businesses by:

  • industry sector
  • ­employment size­
  • organisational structure
  • business turnover
  • states, territories, and tourism regions.

Key findings

The report reveals one in 7 Australian businesses (14%) is directly connected to tourism. There were 355,570 tourism businesses operating nationwide at 30 June 2023. This is 1.5% or 5,262 fewer businesses than in June 2022.

The decline in the number of tourism businesses in the year to June 2023 is a reversal of a trend of strong growth in the previous 4 years (2018 to 2022). It is also in contrast to the growth trend for business numbers in all industry sectors taken together (+0.8% between June 2022 and June 2023).

Most of the decline in business numbers in 2022-23 occurred in 2 industry sectors:

  • taxi transport (including ride sharing services): down by 8% or 2,909 businesses
  • retail trade: down by 1.4% or 2,211 businesses.

Approximately 95% of tourism businesses in Australia are small businesses. Of all tourism businesses in June 2023:

  • 49% or 172,642 had no employees other than the owner
  • 46% or 164,727 were micro or small businesses, with 1 to 19 employees.

There were 7.7% or 8,598 fewer micro tourism businesses (those that employ between 1 and 4 people) at 30 June 2023 when compared with June 2022. This was the only business size category that saw a decline over the course of the year.

As at June 2023, 82% of tourism businesses were in New South Wales (116,693), Victoria (109,595) and Queensland (64,432). Between June 2022 and June 2023, only 3 jurisdictions (Western Australia, the ACT and Queensland) saw an increase in the number of tourism businesses, while all other jurisdictions saw a decrease. 

Data tables

Find out more about tourism businesses in our data tables.

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