Australian travel trends and tourism during COVID-19

October 24, 2021 9:21 pm

Least surprising news ever: travel is down 

Australian travel trends and tourism during COVID-19 faced some pretty desperate times, and the stats are here to back it up.  

Travel and tourism stats are a great way for marketers to spot trends and stay ahead of the curve, both domestically and internationally. 

The National Visitor Survey for the March 2021 quarter has revealed some less-than-surprising statistics about international and domestic travel trends. We all knew COVID-19 was going to have an impact on the way we travel (or more accurately, don’t travel), but no one could have predicted just how massive of an impact it would have. 

Overall, we’re travelling less, spending less money, and taking shorter trips. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the numbers. 

How Aussies are travelling 

Whether it’s within our own borders or overseas, Australians have always loved to travel. For decades, travel and tourism have been a massive part of Australia’s economy’ However, with borders closed due to COVID-19, we’ve seen devastating impacts on the Australian tourism industry: 

According to the National Visitor Survey, total domestic and international tourism losses were $82.9 billion for the year ending March 2021. These losses comprised:

  • $33.1 billion for domestic overnight travel.
  • $9.1 billion for domestic day trips.
  • $40.7 billion for international travel.
Travel by Australians

Holiday travel is rebounding 

With the onset of COVID-19, people all over the world were left with no option but to cancel their holidays. However, holiday travel looks to be rebounding since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • During the year ending March 2021, holiday trips fell 28% to 31.3 million, and spend was down 33% to $25.9 billion.  
  • Visiting family and relatives (VFR) trips and spending declined 35% to 24.8 million and 44% to $8.8 billion respectively. 
  • Business has struggled most to recover with trips down 49% to 13.4 million and spend 60% to $8.5 billion. 
Overnight trips by state

Business travel recorded significant losses 

Before the onset of COVID-19, travelling for business was just another part of day-to-today life. Nowadays, working from home has almost become the new normal.  

  • Overnight trips were down 49% in capital cities and 54% for interstate destinations and spend down a similar 55% and 51% respectively.  

Key travel statistics 

Here are some key stats comparing years ending in March 2020 to March 2021: 

  • Overnight travel is down 42% 
  • Day trips are down 35%
  • Domestic travel is down 40%
  • International arrivals are down 98%

As vaccination efforts continue around the world, we have our fingers crossed that Australian travel trends will continue on a upwarsd trajectory. 

Need help with your tourism and hospitality marketing? Don’t be afraid to reach out, we’d love to have a chat about how we can help!

Australian travel trends and tourism during COVID-19