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New South Wales leads Australia in international and domestic tourism

New South Wales

New South Wales tops Australia for international visitors, visitor nights, and expenditure in 2024, with record domestic tourism figures.

New South Wales (NSW) welcomed the largest share of international visitors and highest expenditure in the nation in the year ending March 2024, with visitors spending more nights in the state than pre-COVID-19.

The latest International Visitor Survey by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) shows NSW was Australia’s top destination for international visitors, visitor nights and expenditure in the year ending March 2024.

There were 3.7 million international visitors to NSW during the period, who stayed 95.2 million nights and spent $11.8 billion.

Sydney was the number one capital city for visitors, visitor nights and expenditure. It received 3.4 million international visitors who stayed 79.9 million nights and spent an estimated $10.7 billion.

There were 694,400 international visitors to regional NSW, who stayed 15.3 million visitor nights and spent an estimated $1.1 billion.

NSW was also number one in Australia for domestic visitation, visitor nights and expenditure. The state welcomed 100.3 million domestic visitors who stayed 117.8 million nights.

NSW and Sydney both achieved their highest domestic expenditure on record in the year ending March 2024, at $41 billion and $15.7 billion respectively.

Regional NSW was Australia’s favorite regional destination for domestic travelers, attracting 66 million visitors in the year ending March 2024. It was also the domestic day trip capital of Australia, recording 38.9 million domestic day trips.

Destination NSW Acting CEO Ian Maltman: “These results confirm the NSW visitor economy is celebrating a strong and fast recovery. NSW is Australia’s top destination for international visitors, while domestic visitor expenditure has hit a record high of $41 billion for NSW and $15.7 billion for Sydney. Destination NSW has a laser focus on ensuring NSW continues to deliver the country’s best visitor experiences, through investment in its capability-building NSW First industry program, marketing initiatives and vibrant events calendar.”

International visitor fast facts
  • International visitor expenditure in NSW was five percent higher than in 2019.
  • International visitor nights spent in NSW reached 95.2 million, just two percent lower than in 2019. The largest percentage of arrivals came from the United States, New Zealand and China.
  • Average expenditure per night in NSW rose from $115 per night in the year ending March 2019 to $124 per night in the year ending March 2024.
  • Sydney received 3.4 million international visitors, who stayed 79.9 million nights and spent an estimated $10.7 billion, accounting for 53 percent of international visitors to Australian capital cities, 39 percent of nights and 42 percent of expenditure.
  • The fastest-growing international source markets for visitors to Sydney were South Korea (up 19.4 percent), India (up 12.4 percent) and Indonesia (up 4.9 percent).
  • The largest source market for international visitors to regional NSW was the United Kingdom (18 percent).
  • The fastest-growing source markets for international visitors to regional NSW were India (up 15.8 percent), the Netherlands (up 4.1 percent) and Indonesia (up 116.5 percent).
Domestic visitor fast facts
  • Domestic visitor nights and expenditure in Sydney increased to 31.8 million (up 2.6 million or +8.8 percent) and $15.7 billion (up $1.5 billion or +10.6 percent), respectively, as compared to the year ending March 2023.
  • Sydney day trip visitor expenditure increased by $471 million (up 13.5 percent) to $4 billion compared to the year ending March 2023, the highest day trip expenditure on record.
  • Domestic overnight business visitor expenditure was $0.8 billion, up 16.2 percent.
  • Domestic visitor numbers to regional NSW in the year ending March 2024 were the second highest on record at 27.1 million.
  • When compared with the closest corresponding period pre-pandemic (year ending March 2020), domestic visitation to regional NSW was up 4.9 percent.
  • The top three regions were the Hunter at 114.7 percent of March 2020 results, the South Coast at 113.2 percent and New England North West at 112.3 percent.
  • Domestic overnight visitor growth was up 3.3 percent year on year for regional NSW. New England North West had the strongest growth (up 16.5 percent), followed by the Central Coast (11.2 percent).
  • The top destinations for domestic day trips were the Hunter, which welcomed 7.27 million trips (up 5.3 percent) and the North Coast, which welcomed 7.25 million trips (up 17.6 percent).
George Diamantopoulos
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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.

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