Reimagining the Visitor Economy Business Survey Results

This publication presents the responses businesses provided when asked to share their views on the Australian visitor economy.

Date published
1 July 2021
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Publication summary

We asked businesses to let us know their views about the Australian visitor economy. We received 413 responses. 71% were from tourism businesses and 29% were other organisations.

Responses by sector

  • Accommodation – 78
  • Arts and culture – 15
  • Education – 22
  • Events – 20
  • Food and drink services – 28
  • Recreation and entertainment – 25
  • Tour operator – 53
  • Travel agent – 32
  • Other – 98
  • Local government – 25
  • Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) – 17

Responses by state

  • Western Australia – 31
  • Northern Territory – 5
  • South Australia – 26
  • Queensland – 36
  • New South Wales – 78
  • Australian Capital Territory – 10
  • Victoria – 71
  • Tasmania – 10

Current challenges - top 5

  1. International border closures
  2. State border closures and localised lockdowns
  3. Work force issues
  4. Reduced cash flow
  5. Lack of consumer demand.

Only 25% of respondents said most of their business was international. However, more than 60% said international border closures was a top challenge.

More than 40% of business respondents held peak body memberships. An additional 5% had let their membership lapse in the past 12 months.

41% of businesses said their business revenue was down more than 70% in 2020.

Future challenges

Most businesses who responded were positive they would still be operational in five to 10 years. 163 respondents said they had a business plan. Almost 80% of these were for short to medium term. More than 85% of respondents said they would need to make changes to their business in the next five years:

  • diversify markets – 56%
  • introduce or change a tourism product – 55%
  • upgrade existing technology – 54%
  • adopt new technology – 51%
  • invest in new equipment and machinery – 42%
  • increase environmental sustainability – 41%
  • upgrade or make repairs to premises – 40%.

The most common barriers to business development were:

  • cash flow – 58%
  • work force – 56%
  • lack of demand – 32%
  • planning and regulatory approvals – 27%
  • capacity restrictions – 23%.

More information

Read the Opportunities for the Visitor Economy Report

Contact us

Email: visitoreconomy@austrade.gov.au