Record numbers of tourists from South and South East Asia are spearheading strong growth in new and emerging markets, according to the latest International Visitor Survey released today.


Federal Minster for Tourism Simon Birmingham said Australia’s tourism industry continued to show solid growth with more than 8.5 million international travellers spending a record $44.3 billion to the year ending March 2019. 


“Australia remains a highly sought-after destination among international travellers, with international arrival numbers and visitor spending both at record levels,” Minister Birmingham said.


“Our $136 billion tourism industry is such a vital part of our economy, with nearly 45,000 tourism jobs created over the past five years and 43 cents of every visitor dollar now spent in the regions.


“Whilst some markets are showing maturity or the importance of our focus on high value travellers, in others we’re starting to see stronger growth, including Japan, Taiwan, and across South and South East Asia.


“India continues to demonstrate why it is a crucial market for Australia with double digit growth in both visitation and visitor spend, now making it our fastest growing market. Visitation from India is up 14.6 per cent to 342, 694 and spending up 12 per cent to $1.7 billion.


“With its emerging middle class, proximity to Australia, improving air access and increasingly competitive airfares there is definitely further opportunity to expand South and South East Asia’s tourism potential.


“Travellers from India, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia already account for more than 1.3 million international arrivals each year and inject more than $5 billion into the Australian economy. 


“It’s why last year we launched our UnDiscover Australia campaign which encourages travellers from South and South East Asia, as well as in Japan, to experience the more unusual, unfamiliar and unexpected destinations on offer around our country


Undiscover aims to challenge travellers’ perceptions and stereotypes of Australia by showcasing unusual and unfamiliar attractions and experiences. Whilst we still want travellers to visit our hotspots, we also want them to spend an extra few days or week to visit some of our more untapped regions.


“Since its launch we have seen a 60 per cent increase in conversions with airline partners, while early brand tracking results indicate that the campaign is having a positive effect on consumers in terms of intention to visit, desirability and fashionability.


“Our Government continues to deliver record funding to Tourism Australia for cutting-edge campaigns such as Undiscover to attract more international travellers to our shores as a booming tourist sector helps contribute to a stronger economy and create more Australian jobs.”


The latest International Visitor Survey results are available on the Tourism Research Australia website at:


Media Contacts

Benn Ayre: +61 428 342 325


Authorised by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, South Australia.