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World Travel & Tourism Council - logoAustralia’s tourism industry is on the verge of a historic milestone, projected to inject a staggering $265.5 billion into the national economy in 2024. This monumental forecast comes from the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR), highlighting a remarkable post-pandemic recovery and growth trajectory for the sector.

Perth to Host Prestigious WTTC Global Summit

In a significant move, Perth, Western Australia, is set to host the 2024 WTTC Global Summit in October. This prestigious event will place Australia at the epicentre of global tourism discussions, underscoring the nation’s critical role in the sector’s worldwide growth and recovery.

Economic Contribution and Growth

Following a robust rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, Australia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to surpass all previous records. The projected contribution of $265.5 billion in 2024 will account for an impressive 10% of the national economy. This upward trend is forecasted to continue, with expectations to reach a phenomenal $345 billion by 2034.

Surge in Employment

The tourism sector has also been a significant driver of employment. In 2023, jobs surged by nearly 10% from the previous year, reaching 1.42 million, representing a tenth of the national workforce. WTTC’s latest research predicts a full recovery of pandemic-induced job losses by the end of this year, with job levels expected to surpass the 2018 peak by 2026. Over the next decade, the sector is anticipated to support over 2 million jobs, equating to 12% of all Australian employment.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO emphasized, “Australia is set to break tourism records. WTTC will spotlight the value of Travel and Tourism to the Australian economy when we celebrate the WTTC Global Summit in Perth. The Summit will highlight Australia’s dynamic growth, reflecting Travel and tourism’s broader economic recovery and rising employment trends.”

Visitor Spending on the Rise

Domestic visitor spending hit a new high in 2023, reaching $146 billion. This trend will continue, with forecasts predicting domestic expenditures will climb to nearly $148 billion in 2024 and soar to almost $180 billion by 2034. Despite Australia reopening its borders later than many other central destinations, spending by overseas visitors surged by nearly 195% in 2023, propelling Australia to rank 10th globally for growth in international visitor spending. Last year, international visitor spending reached $31.6 billion, with forecasts suggesting it will be near $35 billion this year and set a new record in 2025. By 2034, WTTC predicts international visitor spending will approach $52.5 billion.

A Promising Future for Australia’s Travel & Tourism

As Australia’s travel and tourism sector prepares to break records and redefine benchmarks, the WTTC 2024 EIR underscores a future filled with promise and prosperity. With employment booming and domestic visitor spending reaching unprecedented levels, the upcoming WTTC Global Summit in Perth is poised to showcase a sector that is not just rebounding but thriving. Although international visitor spending is still expected to lag behind 2019 levels by the end of this year, Australia is solidifying its position as a global leader in tourism growth and economic resilience.

Regional Impact

Across Oceania, the tourism sector is forecasted to contribute $337.4 billion this year, accounting for 10.7% of the region’s total economic output. Jobs are expected to grow by 10%, reaching 2.33 million, nearly one in nine jobs. Domestic visitor spending is anticipated to hit almost $180 billion, marking a significant 31% increase since 2019. Meanwhile, international visitor spending is projected to recover to $65.7 billion, nearing the 2019 peak.

For further details, please visit WTTC.




Written by: Michelle Warner