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Australia’s Tourism Sector Set to Contribute Record-Breaking $265BN to the Economy

Perth, Western Australia, set to host the 2024 WTTC Global Summit in October

London, UK: The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR) forecasts Travel & Tourism will contribute more to Australia’s economy in 2024 than any previous year on record.

After bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, the sector is poised to surpass its previous peak with a projected economic contribution of $265.5BN, representing 10% of the Australian economy.

Host of the global tourism body’s 24th Global Summit, to be held in Perth, Western Australia in October, the sector is expected to maintain robust growth over the next decade, aligning with the global economy’s growth rate, and is projected to exceed $345BN by 2034.

Jobs on the Rise

In 2023, jobs in Australia's Travel & Tourism sector surged by nearly 10% from the previous year, hitting 1.42MN, representing a tenth of the national workforce. 

WTTC's latest research predicts a full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic this year, with job levels surpassing the 2018 peak by 2026. 

Over the next decade, the sector is expected to support over 2MN jobs, representing 12% of all Australian employment.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said; "Australia is set to break tourism records. WTTC will throw a spotlight on the value of Travel & Tourism to the Australian economy when we celebrate the WTTC Global Summit in Perth, Western Australia.

"The Summit will highlight Australia’s dynamic growth, reflecting Travel & Tourism’s broader economic recovery and rising employment trends."

Visitor Spending Surging Forward

Last year, domestic visitors set a new record for total spending in Australia, hitting $146BN – a new high since 2018. 

This upward trend is set to continue, with forecasts predicting spending will reach nearly $148BN in 2024 and soar to almost $180BN in 2034.

Despite reopening its border later than many other major destinations around the world, in 2023, spending by overseas visitors surged by nearly 195%, ranking Australia 10th globally for growth in international visitor spending. 

Spending reached $31.6BN last year, with forecasts suggesting it will near $35BN this year and set a new record in 2025.

By 2034, WTTC predicts international visitor spending will reach almost $52.5BN.

As Australia's Travel & Tourism sector prepares to break records and redefine benchmarks, the WTTC 2024 EIR underscores a future filled with promise and prosperity. 

With employment booming and spending by domestic visitors reaching unprecedented levels, the upcoming WTTC Global Summit in Western Australia is set to showcase a sector that's not just rebounding, but truly thriving. 

Although international visitor spending is still expected to be down on 2019, by the end of this year, this is a pivotal moment, as we witness Australia solidify its position as a global leader in tourism growth and economic resilience.

What Does the Region Look Like?

The sector is forecast to contribute $337.4BN this year, 10.7% of Oceania’s total. Jobs are expected to grow by 10% and reach 2.33MN across the region, equivalent to nearly one in nine jobs. 

Domestic visitor spending is anticipated to reach almost $180BN, an uplift of almost 31% since 2019, whilst international visitor spending is projected to recover to $65.7BN and be within touching distance of the 2019 peak.

See all the data in our Australia Travel & Tourism Economic Impact Report on the WTTC Research Hub.

For more information, please visit 

Editors Notes
This cutting-edge research was carried out in partnership with Oxford Economics with information sourced from UN Tourism (formerly UNWTO), Oxford Economics and authoritative national databases. All values are in constant 2023 prices and exchange rates, as reported in March 2024, and given in AUD.
The Oceania region used is Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and other assorted oceanic states.

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