Published on : Tuesday, August 18, 2020
The domestic tourism sector in Australia has suffered an $11.7 billion hit between April and May, as coronavirus restrictions wreaked havoc on travel and holiday plans.
The brutal impact of this deadly coronavirus measures on the tourism industry has been laid bare in the latest National Visitor Survey data, as more than $7 billion was wiped in April alone as Australians took 9.6 million fewer domestic overnight trips compared to April 2019.
In NSW, the domestic tourism spending crashed by $3.5 billion, or 89 per cent, as visitors numbers plunged to 1.4 million across April and May, compared with more than 7 million during the same period in 2019.
The Victoria was also hard hit, recording an 83 per cent collapse in visitor numbers over the same period, amounting to a $2.5 billion loss compared with 2019.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham seized on the figures to encourage Australians to not only embrace domestic travel, but to “help fill the void” of the international tourism market by doing “bucket-list” activities. They want Australians to make the most of what their country has to offer by not just going on a road trip but by booking an experience as well, whether it be taking a surf lesson in Byron Bay, making your own whisky in Tasmania, kayaking through Nitmiluk Gorge or learning indigenous art skills in Ceduna.
The latest figures are contained in data to be released publicly by Tourism Research Australia on Friday, which reveal the $11.7 billion total hit to the domestic tourism market in April and May.