International visitors are expected to return to Australia more quickly than previously predicted thanks to a rebound in Chinese visitors to Australia, according to Tourism Research Australia’s latest forecasts.
The Tourism forecasts for Australia: 2023 to 2028 report states that the continued return of flight routes and commencement of new routes to Australia also underpin the encouraging projections.
Australia is set to welcome 7.3 million international visitors in 2023, almost twice as many as last year (3.7 million). In 2024, visitation is expected to hit 98 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and set a new record in 2025. Looking further ahead, Australia is forecast to welcome 12.1 million in 2028, an increase of 4.8 million on this year.
The report also forecasts record spending across Australia’s tourism and travel industry with domestic and international travellers predicted to spend $170.3 billion in 2023, 23 per cent ($31.9 billion) above pre-pandemic levels.
International visitors alone are projected to spend $28.6 billion in Australia this year, a 124 per cent increase on 2022.
The report also points to significant increases in expected visitors from a number of countries in Southeast Asia, as well as continued strong growth in travel from China.
“It’s great to see the rapid increase in international visitors to Australia this year, who are coming back in droves to come and say G’day,” said Tourism Minister Don Farrell.