Tourism will remain one of Australia’s fastest-growing industries in the next decade, according to a new forecast for domestic and international tourism by Tourism Research Australia.

The 10-year outlook for Australian tourism revealed that tourism spend of both international visitors and the overnight and day trip spend by Australians was forecast to grow much faster than national GDP.

In fact, it was forecast to grow by almost 5% to $163 billion by year 2020/21.

Total spend is forecast to grow 59% from $148.7 billion to $236.5 billion between 2018–19 and 2028–29, with an average annual growth rate of 4.7%.


Executive Director of The Australian Tourism Industry Council Simon Westaway has weighed in on the findings, saying the onward, sustainable march of tourism showed it was a mainstream feature of Australia’s economic landscape.

He said this means it’s important for the industry to work in close partnership with government and policymakers to maintain the positive trajectory.

“A lower Australian dollar against the US, UK pound and Euro, as well as it falling against competitor tourism currencies such as the Indonesian Rupiah and Thai Baht, would clearly underpin these short to medium term projections,” he said.


“This is on the basis of the exchange rates likely impact on international visitor growth and spending on our shores and may also encourage more Australians to look to travel more at home”.

“Australian tourism enterprises will be assured by this positive economic assessment and longer term outlook, but the industry will need to remain resilient on the basis of uncertainty around current global events and the direction of our local economy.”

Executive Director of The Australian Tourism Industry Council

Kangaroo Island, South Australia

He said the figures also pointed to the “high value of domestic tourism” which is now greater than $100 billion annually.

“Future tourism strategies must remain close to its needs including further delivering on genuine dispersal of visitors to our regions and beyond the capital city gateways,” he said.