Melbourne the top destination for tourists

Australian tourists are spending more domestically than before COVID-19 restrictions.

Australian tourists are spending more domestically than before COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: AAP

Melbourne has emerged as domestic tourists’ top destination as the nation’s travel sector bounces back from its pandemic doldrums.

Monthly figures from the Tourism and Transport Forum show the southern capital was the country’s top location for travel spending in October, ahead of Sydney and Brisbane.

The report, released on Thursday, also revealed Australian tourists are spending more domestically than before COVID-19 restrictions shut down the travel market.

Spending in the local industry was worth $10.1 billion in October, up nine per cent on the same month in 2019.

The largest share of the spending was from Australians travelling within their own state.

Tourism forum chief executive Margy Osmond said the appetite for domestic travel was overwhelming and the trend was expected to continue into the peak summer holiday period.

But despite the domestic holiday boom, foreign visitors are still staying away from Australia’s shores amid soaring prices for international airfares.

Spending by international travellers was 16 per cent below pre-COVID levels in October at $2.3 billion.

“We expect spending by international visitors will lift further throughout next year as airline capacity increases and international confidence in Australia as an attractive holiday destination returns,” Ms Osmond said.

While Melbourne was the top domestic tourism destination for the month, Queensland received the highest overall spending at $2.7 billion, followed by NSW with $2.5 billion and Victoria with $2.2 billion.

The forum predicted domestic tourism spending would be worth $9.3 billion in November, also up nine per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

Top 10 locations for domestic tourists in October

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. Brisbane
  4. Perth
  5. Gold Coast
  6. NSW north coast
  7. Queensland Sunshine Coast
  8. NSW south coast
  9. Adelaide
  10. Tropical north Queensland


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