This report provides statistics on Australia’s tourism businesses. It reports on changes from June 2016 to June 2021 in:
By presenting information over this timeframe, this report shows the:
There were 334,532 tourism businesses in Australia as at June 2021. This means one in 7 Australian businesses (14%) were tourism-related.
The number of tourism businesses increased by 2.9% (or 9,400 businesses) in 2020-21, compared to 2019-20. This increase in business numbers occurred despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on visitor demand.
Reasons for this result included:
However, some tourism businesses lost workers and others stopped operation.
In this report, we show changes:
You can also see changes in these sectors:
This report categorises tourism businesses by employment size. This is to make it easier to understand growth patterns. The categories are:
The COVID-19 pandemic began to impact Australia from March 2020. This saw:
Visitation and spend slumped as:
No sector of the economy escaped the impacts of the pandemic. However, tourism was one of the industries most affected:
The number of tourism businesses in Australia’s visitor economy continued to grow in 2020-21. This was despite a very difficult operating environment.
Australia had 334,532 tourism businesses at June 2021. This was:
However, the rate of growth in tourism businesses slowed in 2020-21 compared with previous years.
Reasons for this growth in 2020-21 were:
The make-up of the Australian tourism industry has changed greatly since 2016 (Table 1). For example, at June 2021, there were:
|Tourism related industries||Number of businesses (June 2016)||Number of businesses (June 2021)||Growth|
|Cafes, restaurants and takeaways – includes clubs, pubs, taverns and bars||77,959||91,533||17%|
|Taxi transport and Other road transport||19,360||34,423||78%|
|Air and water transport||5,142||5,377||4.6%|
|Motor vehicle hiring including Rail transport||1,786||2,401||34%|
|Travel agency and tour operator services||6,077||8,872||46%|
|Arts and recreation||26,740||33,496||25%|
Note: Totals may vary from actual estimates. This is due to a technique used at the Australian Bureau of Statistics to ensure data confidentiality.
Drivers of growth in tourism businesses in the previous financial year (between July 2020 and June 2021), were:
Over the same most-recent financial year period there was a decline in:
Tourism businesses are mostly small operations. At June 2021:
Compared with June 2019:
The concentration of smaller businesses with zero to 4 employees is greatest in:
There was strong growth in the number of tourism businesses in the years leading up to the pandemic (Table 2). This growth in activity was most evident among non-employing businesses. This was mostly due to emerging ride-share and car-share businesses.
Over this period there was also strong growth in large tourism businesses.
Since 2019 there have been more shifts in business sizes:
This employment decline is consistent with results of the National Tourism Satellite Account 2020–21. This reported a 25% fall in tourism workers between 2018-19 and 2020-21.
|Non Employing||1-4 Employees (Micro)||5-19 Employees (Small)||20-199 Employees (Medium)||200+ Employees (Large)||Total|
|Tourism businesses June 2016||121,421||91,802||53,877||13,901||769||281,770|
|Tourism businesses June 2019||155,566||93,654||55,414||15,195||884||320,713|
|Change on June 2016 (number)||34,145||1,852||1,537||1,294||115||38,943|
|Tourism businesses June 2021||150,768||109,895||58,716||14,275||878||334,532|
|Change on June 2019 (number)||4,798||16,241||3,302||902||6||13,819|
Turnover for most tourism businesses was low. At June 2021:
Figure 2 shows that business turnover in 2021 on average was lower than in 2016. This is due to a greater share of businesses with turnover of less than $50k in the visitor economy.
At June 2021, most tourism businesses (81%) were located in:
This is consistent with the State Tourism Satellite Account (STSA) data. The STSA shows these 3 states collectively accounted for 77% of:
Business numbers grew most quickly between June 2016 and June 2019 in the following states and territories:
The slower growing states between June 2016 and June 2019 were:
Patterns of growth have changed between June 2019 and June 2021. States and territories showing stronger growth in business numbers in this more recent period were:
The number of tourism businesses in regional Australia increased between June 2016 and June 2019. This was by an average of 1.8% annually. This was well below the 5.6% business growth rate for capital cities and the Gold Coast. The share of tourism business in regional Australia declined from 33.0% to 30.6% as a result.
More recent data shows regional Australia saw a 3.8% growth in tourism businesses overall between June 2019 and June 2021. This was compared to 4.5% in the capital cities and Gold Coast. The share of tourism business in regional Australia decreased further. This was from 30.6% to 30.5%, as a result.
The growth in tourism businesses from June 2019 in regional Australia was not evenly spread (Table 3). This included:
|Number of businesses at June 2021||Growth since June 2019|
|Business Type||Regional Australia||Capital cities and Gold Coast||Regional Australia||Capital cities and Gold Coast|
Find out more about tourism businesses in our data tables.