Login to the MIP Subscribe

Edu-tourism and the impact of international students

10 May 2019

Austrade’s Rebecca Hall and Amy Godfrey have written an article on the impact of international students on tourism as part of IEAA’s ‘Broaden our Horizons’ project. 

The article highlights the significant contribution that international education makes to Australia’s tourism performance, using data from Tourism Research Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Key insights include:

  • Education-related personal travel is more valuable than other personal and business travel in Australia overall, as well as in NSW, VIC, SA, TAS and ACT.
  • Education visitors:
    • account for over 38 per cent of the total tourism spend in Australia and 57 per cent of travel exports
    • spend, on average, 8.5 times more than other visitors
    • stay, on average, 111 nights longer than other visitors
  • On top of this, one in four education visitors have friends or family visit the country, resulting in almost 300,000 visitors spending $1.1 billion in Australia in 2018; and many working holiday makers and tourists also take courses during their trips, adding a further $835 million in spend
  • In 2018, the Chinese spend in Australia by education visitors was larger than the total spend by all visitors from the US and UK combined