Tourism driving economic growth

05 Apr 2018

Tourism’s contribution to national GDP grew by more than 6 per cent in 2016-17, according to the latest State Tourism Satellite Accounts, released today by Tourism Research Australia.

In 2016-17, tourism growth outpaced that of the wider economy, directly contributing $55 billion to GDP and employing 598,200 Australians – figures that underline tourism’s important role in supporting jobs and prosperity.

However, the economic effects of tourism extend well beyond those industries that directly service homegrown and international tourists.  That glass of red and Wagyu steak plated up to a hungry tourist, adds not only to restaurant sales, it also generates an economic dividend for beef farmers, winemakers, abattoirs, transport companies and wholesalers to name a few.

When these indirect effects are taken into account, tourism’s total contribution to the national economy more than doubles to $110 billion – equivalent to 6.3 per cent of national GDP. 
In terms of jobs, the employment figure balloons to 925,000 – equivalent to one in 13 Australian workers and up 3.9 per cent on the previous year. 

The report has a strong focus on what is happening across Australia’s eight states and territories. This shows that three quarters of tourism activity occurred in the three largest states, with New South Wales leading the way, accounting for 31per cent of all tourism GDP and 29 per cent of tourism jobs. This was followed by Queensland (23 per cent of tourism GDP and 23 per cent of jobs) and Victoria (22 per cent of tourism GDP and 24 per cent of jobs). 

In terms of growth however, the spotlight turns to the smaller jurisdictions, with Tasmania and the ACT reported the strongest growth rates in tourism GDP – up 20.2 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively.




The full State Tourism Satellite Accounts 2016–17 report is available at TRA website.