The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected Australia’s visitor economy workforce. Lengthy travel restrictions contributed to dramatic job losses in the visitor economy.

Workforce shortages have been a challenge for the visitor economy. This is particularly true in the period after the COVID-19 pandemic. The short-term absence of permanent and temporary migrant workers contributed to the deficiency of workers.

This report gives a snapshot of the visitor economy workforce in 2023. It draws on publicly available data sources to provide current insights on:

  • the size and composition of the visitor economy workforce
  • job vacancies in tourism-related occupations
  • recruitment in the sector
  • the availability of international labour.

Key findings

The report finds that:

  • the visitor economy workforce has been recovering from the impact of COVID-19
  • the recovery has taken time
  • workforce shortages were acute and widespread in the visitor economy in 2022
  • there are signs that the severity of workforce shortages has eased in 2023
  • skills shortages remain elevated relative to the pre-pandemic period.

Data sources

The following data sources are the basis of our analysis in the report:

More information on each data source is available in the report.

Growing tourism workforce and skills

Find out more about how TRA and Austrade support the growth of a world-class tourism workforce and skills – a THRIVE 2030 policy priority.

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