NSW coast newcastle' international visitors

International visitors to Australia are continuing to grow, with travellers staying for longer periods and spending more during their stay, according to the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia (TRA).

As a nation, Australia welcomed 2.1 million international visitors from January to March 2024, which represents 89% of the figure for the same period in 2019 – with these travellers staying a total of 87.5 million nights, representing 105% of pre-pandemic levels.

International visitor expenditure reached 99% of pre-pandemic levels during this period, injecting AU$10.2 billion into the Australian visitor economy.

New Zealand, China, the United States, the United Kingdom and India were the top five international source markets.

NSW leads on all fronts

Hoteliers in NSW had cause for celebration with the state welcoming the largest share of international visitors and highest expenditure in the nation in the year ending March 2024, with visitors spending more nights in the state than before the pandemic.

There were 3.7 million international visitors to NSW during the period, who stayed 95.2 million nights – just 2% lower than in 2019 – and spent AU$11.8 billion, a 5% lift on 2019.

Sydney was the number one capital city for visitors, visitor nights and expenditure. It received 3.4 million international visitors who stayed 79.9 million nights and spent an estimated AU$10.7 billion.

Regional NSW was a big winner with 694,400 international visitors during this period, staying 15.3 million visitor nights and spending an estimated AU$1.1 billion. It was also the favoured destination for domestic travellers, attracting 66 million visitors in the year ending March 2024, and recording 38.9 million domestic daytrips.

NSW also claimed the top spot in Australia for domestic visitation, visitor nights and expenditure. The state welcomed 100.3 million domestic visitors who stayed 117.8 million nights.

“These results confirm the NSW visitor economy is celebrating a strong and fast recovery,” said Destination NSW Acting CEO Ian Maltman.

“NSW is Australia’s top destination for international visitors, while domestic visitor expenditure has hit a record high of $41 billion for NSW and $15.7 billion for Sydney.

“Destination NSW has a laser focus on ensuring NSW continues to deliver the country’s best visitor experiences, through investment in its capability-building NSW First industry program, marketing initiatives and vibrant events calendar.”

Average expenditure per night in NSW rose from AU$115 per night in the year ending March 2019 to AU$124 per night in the year ending March 2024.

The fastest growing international source markets for visitors to Sydney were South Korea (up 19.4%), India (up 12.4%) and Indonesia (up 4.9%), while the fastest-growing source markets for international visitors to regional NSW were India (up 15.8%), the Netherlands (up 4.1%) and Indonesia (up 116.5%).