Tourism industry

Learn how we support the Australian tourism industry and boost the visitor economy.

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Austrade leads work to support the sustainable growth and prosperity of Australia’s visitor economy. 

We do this by:

  • developing tourism policy
  • managing grant programs
  • providing data and research
  • leading the national long-term visitor economy strategy.

About the visitor economy

The visitor economy covers all visitors who travel to and within Australia. This can be for reasons such as:

  • holidays
  • visiting friends and family
  • business
  • work
  • education
  • attending events.

A wide range of sectors provide goods and services to visitors including:

  • accommodation
  • transport
  • culture, arts and recreation
  • travel agents and tour operators
  • education and training
  • business event service providers
  • food services
  • retail.

Strategy for the visitor economy - THRIVE 2030

We manage the national long-term strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030.

THRIVE 2030 is an industry-led, government-enabled strategy. It provides an action plan to rebuild and grow the sector.

The visitor economy was Australia’s fourth-largest export sector before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the sector:

  • was worth $166 billion
  • employed 660,000 people.

COVID-19 compounded pre-existing challenges facing the visitor economy. THRIVE 2030 seeks to address these challenges and set out a long-term vision.

Grants and support

To help grow businesses in the visitor economy, we administer a range of export and tourism grants.

We support First Nations businesses in global trade and investment, and in tourism. Find out how we support First Nations businesses.

The China Approved Destination Status (ADS) scheme allows Chinese tourists to travel to Australia in guided groups. We manage the scheme in Australia with the Department of Home Affairs and Tourism Australia.

Tourism data and research

We provide statistics and research to assist the government, the visitor economy and Australian businesses. Find out more at Tourism Research Australia.

Tourism ministers' meetings

Australian and state and territory government tourism ministers regularly hold meetings to work together on:

  • progressing the national long-term tourism strategy
  • addressing matters of relevance to the visitor economy.

The ministers are supported by the Australian Standing Committee on Tourism (ASCOT). Austrade leads ASCOT.

Read about the latest Tourism Ministers' Meeting, 20 May 2024.

Consultations 

To develop strategies and to inform our work, we consult with visitor economy stakeholders

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Visitor Economy News

Contact us

Email visitoreconomy@austrade.gov.au