It looks like the Australian Tourism Industry is showing strong signs of post-pandemic recovery.

We’ve gathered information from Tourism Research Australia and Australian Government statistics on the current state of the Australian Tourism Industry.

Find out what has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and how these changes have impacted international travel in Australia.

Quick Stats

  • In the year ending in September 2023, there were 6.1 million international trips to Australia, compared to 8.7 million in the year ending in September 2019 during the pre-pandemic period. [4]
  • During the same period, New Zealand had the highest number of international visitors to Australia. [4]
  • During the financial year 2022-23, nearly 40% of international arrivals said their main reason for visiting was to see friends and relatives. [6]

Australian Tourism Industry

In Australia, domestic and international tourism was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020. 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were only 611,700 tourism jobs as of June 2020, a 15.1% decrease from June 2019. The decline in domestic tourism jobs affected accommodation, sports, recreation and cultural services the most. [1]

According to Tourism Australia, between June 2021 and June 2022, the number of tourism businesses rose by 19,233. [2]

The main sources of growth were:

  • Retail trade services
  • Cafes, restaurants and takeaway services
  • Cultural, sports and recreation services

As of June 2023, there were 713,000 tourism jobs in Australia – nearly 100,000 more jobs in the tourism industry than in 2020. [3]

How many tourists visit Australia each year?


2019 [4]

2023 [4]

Number of International Trips 



*This data is based on Tourism Australia’s international travel visitor estimates (aged 15 years and over).

The number of international trips to Australia progressively increased each year from 2013 to 2019. [5]

Between the year ending in September 2019 and September 2023, there was a 29.5% decrease in the number of international trips to Australia (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). [4]

International Visitors to Australia


2023 [4]

New Zealand  


United States of America 


United Kingdom 
















In the year ending September 2023, it’s estimated that nearly 1.1 million of Australia’s international travellers were from New Zealand. Those who visited from New Zealand spent almost 13.5 million nights in Australia, more than $3 billion on their trip and $1.8 billion during their time in Australia. [4]

State and Territory Arrivals

In the year ending in September 2023, it’s estimated that around 3.1 million international travellers visited New South Wales. Those who travelled to New South Wales spent more than 78.8 million nights in Australia and over $10 billion in the New South Wales region. [4]

Main Reason for Journey

In the year ending in September 2023, it’s estimated that more than 2.3 million international travellers visited friends and relatives in Australia. Those who visited friends and relatives spent over 69.5 million nights in Australia, nearly $9.1 billion on their trip and more than $4.3 billion while visiting Australia. [4]

There were nearly 2.3 million international travellers who visited Australia on a holiday. Holiday-goers spent more than 51.6 million nights in Australia, spent over $12.2 billion on their trip and nearly $7.2 billion in Australia. [4]

Short-Term Border Crossing Arrivals

*Short-term arrivals visit Australia for less than a year (unless stated otherwise)

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted travel and international border restrictions from March 2020.

Visitor arrivals have increased progressively since November 2021 (when restrictions began to ease) and peaked in December 2022 during the summer holidays in Australia. 

As of June 2023, the number of short-term visitors to Australia is on the rise once again.

Top Ten Countries

In the 2022-23 financial year, India was the only one of the top ten countries to surpass pre-pandemic levels, rising to more than 100% of 2018-19 financial year arrivals. [6]

State and Territory Arrivals

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, all states recorded an overall decrease in short-term international visitors.  

The slowest rate of growth is in the Northern Territory reaching only 42.9% of 2018-19 financial year visitors in the 2022-23 financial year. 

In the 2022-23 financial year, the ABS reported that New Zealand was the number one source country for visitors to NSW, Vic, Qld, SA and Tas. 

Visitors from the UK were the largest source country for WA, and visitors from the USA were the largest source country for the NT and ACT. [6]

Arrivals by Age

Nearly 22% of international arrivals in the 2022-23 financial year were in the 25-34 age group, followed by 18.3% of 55-64-year-olds and 15.6% of 45-54-year-olds. [6]

Main Reason for Journey

In the 2022-23 financial year, almost 45% of international arrivals stated they were visiting friends and relatives in Australia. This is followed by 30% of arrivals who visited Australia for a holiday.  

According to the ABS, during the 2018-19 financial year (in the pre-COVID period), 47% of international visitors travelled to Australia on holiday. Due to international travel restrictions holidays became the second highest reason for travel. [6]