Pandemic wipes $11.7b off domestic tourism spend

Domestic tourism spending plunged by $11.7 billion during the first few months of the pandemic, with 9.6 million fewer domestic overnight trips taken in April compared with the previous year.

The figures released by Tourism Research Australia paint a bleak picture of the state of the tourism sector, which is pinning its hopes of a recovery on a rebound in domestic travel.

Revenue dropped by about 90 per cent in the three biggest states, with New South Wales down $3.5 billion, Queensland recording a drop of $2.75 billion and Victoria slumping by $2.6 billion in April and May.

South Australia’s tourism industry suffered a $780 million blow while Tasmania recorded a $567 million drop.

May showed some signs of hope as restrictions eased a little, with overnight trips down by 67 per cent to 3.1 million compared with May 2019. But domestic tourism spend was still down 82 per cent to $1.1 billion for the month, a $4.8 billion drop from the previous year.