Tourism Australia has eclipsed the lower end of its 2020 targets for visitor expenditure, with the latest data on domestic travel taking the tally past the organisation’s long-term forecasted goals.
The latest National Visitor Survey data from Tourism Research Australia, which covers the full calendar year of 2018, showed overnight spend on domestic travel by Australians closed at $72.7 billion. This figure, when combined with the full-year spend data from International Visitors released earlier this month, takes Australia’s total visitor spend for a calendar year to $116.6 billion.
Individually, the overnight spend among domestic travellers was up 13 per cent on the year prior largely on the back of a nine per cent jump in overnight trips to 105.6 million. These trips totalled 376.1 million room nights for the year, also a new record up seven per cent on the prior year.
Holidays in capital cities continues to dominate over regional counterparts, with travel growing at nearly twice the rate of regional breaks. Encouragingly for the latter however is that visitation levels outside capital cities maintained a five per cent growth rate for the fifth year running.
In the hotel sphere, the data showed Australians are seeking out more cost-effective travel options for their accommodation. Despite an overall rate of growth of five per cent, the percentages of those staying in non-commercial rental houses, caravan parks and camp sites grew eight per cent for the full year.
Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia were the leading states contributing to the overall performance, each recording double-digit growth in visitor numbers and spending levels. Of the three, WA was the winner, achieving a 14 per cent jump in both visitor numbers and spend.