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Lasted report on tourism businesses in Australia

26 April 2024

Tourism Research Australia recently released the ‘Tourism businesses in Australia 2018 to 2023’ report’.

Summary

Each year, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) publishes a summary of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ counts of tourism businesses in Australia. The TRA summary categorises tourism businesses by:

  • industry sector
  • ­employment size­
  • organisational structure
  • business turnover
  • states, territories, and tourism regions.

Key findings

The report reveals one in 7 Australian businesses (14%) is directly connected to tourism. There were 355,570 tourism businesses operating nationwide at 30 June 2023. This is 1.5% or 5,262 fewer businesses than in June 2022.

The decline in the number of tourism businesses in the year to June 2023 is a reversal of a trend of strong growth in the previous 4 years (2018 to 2022). It is also in contrast to the growth trend for business numbers in all industry sectors taken together (+0.8% between June 2022 and June 2023).

Most of the decline in business numbers in 2022-23 occurred in 2 industry sectors:

  • taxi transport (including ride sharing services): down by 8% or 2,909 businesses
  • retail trade: down by 1.4% or 2,211 businesses.

Approximately 95% of tourism businesses in Australia are small businesses. Of all tourism businesses in June 2023:

  • 49% or 172,642 had no employees other than the owner
  • 46% or 164,727 were micro or small businesses, with 1 to 19 employees.

There were 7.7% or 8,598 fewer micro tourism businesses (those that employ between 1 and 4 people) at 30 June 2023 when compared with June 2022. This was the only business size category that saw a decline over the course of the year.

As at June 2023, 82% of tourism businesses were in New South Wales (116,693), Victoria (109,595) and Queensland (64,432). Between June 2022 and June 2023, only 3 jurisdictions (Western Australia, the ACT and Queensland) saw an increase in the number of tourism businesses, while all other jurisdictions saw a decrease.

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