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Australian tourism spend soars despite fewer people travelling


The cost of travelling is helping Australia maintain strong revenue levels despite smaller numbers passing through.

Aussies are spending more on travel despite going away less often.

The cost of travelling has led Australia to set new records in tourism revenue levels despite fewer people travelling, according to the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) snapshot released today by Tourism Research Australia.

For the 2022-23 financial year, Australian residents spent a combined $108.3 billion on 404.7 million nights away, a massive 40 percent jump in spending compared to the same point in 2019 prior to the pandemic, despite a two percent drop in overnight trips taken.

While the results were particularly strong overall, they were hampered somewhat by a sluggish June quarter, which recorded the weakest three-month result since the onset of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in December 2021.

The cost of living crunch is now showing signs of biting Australian travellers, with fewer overnight trips and visits to friends and family but higher levels of spending by those who do head away.

Broken down, the number of people travelling for holidays further solidified proof the leisure sector is soaring, with a 5.9 percent jump recorded for the year-ending June 2023, compared to the same time four years earlier. Expenditure was significantly up on this metric, climbing 60.2 percent.

But this was juxtaposed by a fall in the number of people visiting friends and family or travelling for business, with the latter dropping by 11.4 percent.

Aussies are spending an average of four nights away per trip, shelling out around $268 per night and an average of $972 per trip.

Meanwhile, Tourism Research has announced it is able to gain a clearer picture of travel habits among Australian and foreign visitors by adding mobility data to its reporting picture.

Future quarterly releases of the National Visitor Survey are now likely to be more accurate due to accounting for mobility movements, generated by tracking movement inside mobile phone towers.

Drawing on ‘pings’ generated by these towers and coupled with GPS and app location tracking, the NVS will be able to better present its reports by more accurately reporting numbers from Australia’s cellular tower network after data is combined and anonymised to ensure privacy.

Tourism Research Australia boss, Grant Ferres, said the new data source is a great innovation.

“We’re constantly exploring ways to evolve our data offering in line with global best practice,” Ferres said.

“The use of mobility data will continue to expand globally as an important information source for measuring tourism, with Australia among the leaders in developing this approach.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 27 September 2023

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