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TRA 2021 State of the Industry Report

State of the Industry 2021, Tourism Research Australia, June 2022

Download the full report here: TRA-state-of-the-industry-2021 (1)


Australia’s visitor economy continued to be deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. This report uses data from multiple sources to highlight various industry and government pandemic responses during the year.

While Australia’s visitor economy has shown resilience and persistence since the pandemic began, 2021 was a particularly difficult year. However, 2021 also saw the:

  • rapid return of domestic tourism in 2021 following lockdowns
  • reopening of Australia’s border towards the end of the year, and further announcements for the new year.

These factors spurred rising optimism for 2022.

Visitor economy outlook

The visitor economy outlook is more positive now than during the past two years. However, conditions are still challenging and recovery will take time, particularly for businesses and regions reliant on international tourists. The visitor economy also faces serious labour shortages and increased international competition.

Plan for the future

2022 will be a critical year for the industry as the recovery gains momentum. The THRIVE 2030 Strategy for the Australian visitor economy is an industry-led, government-enabled plan. It provides an action plan to rebuild and grow the sector. It aims to see visitor economy spend reach $230 billion by the year 2030.

How this year’s report is different

TRA has changed the format of the State of the Industry report this year to reflect the depth of changes in the visitor economy over recent years. This year, the report:

  • reviews the 2021 calendar year. Previous editions of the report (pre-pandemic) reviewed financial years
  • gives a more detailed explanation of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. This includes contributions, such as case studies, by TRA’s research partners
  • focuses on the large and growing contribution of the international education sector. This was often omitted from tourism analysis in the past but has been included to ensure the report aligns with the THRIVE 2030 Strategy’s objectives and vision.

Demand and supply metrics

Read more


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