Where Do Visitors From Australia Come From?

Natural attractions draw many tourists to Australia.
Natural attractions draw many tourists to Australia.
  • Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and the Great Barrier Reef are the most popular tourist spots in Australia
  • China and New Zealand make up over 1.5 million of Australia's annual tourists.
  • United States make up the third most amount of tourists for Australia, it's the only country in the top 10 that's from North America.

Tourism is an important part of the economy of Australia, with this sector employing approximately one million people. International tourism has been on the rise in Australia, with a large number of visitors coming from China. This number is expected to continue growing. This article takes a closer look at where international tourists go in Australia and where exactly they themselves are coming from.

Tourist Destinations In Australia

One of the reasons for Australia’s growing tourism sector is its wide range of tourist destinations. Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, the major cities in Australia, are popular tourist locations. Other popular destinations include the Great Barrier Reef, the Tasmanian wilderness, the Australian outback, the Gold Coast, Queensland, casinos, shopping, and vineyards. Perhaps the most famous of these places is the Great Barrier Reef. Approximately 2 million tourists visit the Great Barrier Reef annually. The government has implemented strict regulation surrounding the area in order to reduce potential negative impacts to this sensitive ecosystem.

Top Source Countries For International Tourists

As previously mentioned, Australia receives a large number of international tourists every year. In fact, it is estimated that tourists in 2019 will number more than ten million. Statistics show that international tourists tend to purchase or plan package trips that include the major sites and at least 1 wildlife viewing excursion. Additionally, Australia receives a large number of backpacker-type tourists. These types of travelers tend to stay for longer periods of time, getting to know more of Australia and even seeing places and things that are not on the typical tourist list. In order to finance their extended stays, many backpackers apply for working holiday visas. These visas allow individuals to work in the country while on vacation. They are available to people between 18 and 30 years of age and primarily to those individuals from the western region of Europe, Canada, some Eastern Asian countries.

1. China

19 years ago, in 2000, only 150,000 visitors to Australia came from China. Today, that number is well over 1.3 million, making China the largest source country for tourists to Australia. One major reason for this is the growing middle class in China, with many people have a larger discretional income with which to travel. Australia is also relatively geographically close to China, which makes it an accessible destination. 

2.New Zealand

A large portion of individuals traveling to Australia come from New Zealand. New Zealand, which sent 1.2 million tourists in 2019, had formerly been the most popular source destination before being taken over by China. 

3. United States

The United States also sends a significant number of backpackers to Australia. This country is also the 3rd largest source of tourists. In 2019, the US sent more than 700,000 tourists to Australia.

4. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom sent over half a million travelers to Australia in 2019. Many of these tourists travel with a short-term vacation package. Great Britain, however, is one of the biggest sources of backpackers to Australia.

The chart published below offers a more in-depth look at the major source countries for international tourists to Australia.

Top Source Countries For International Tourists To Australia

RankSource CountryVisitor Count
1 China1,323,000
2 New Zealand1,272,000
3 United States764,000
4 United Kingdom674,000
5 Japan445,000
6 Singapore407,000
7 India350,000
8 Malaysia346,000
9 Hong Kong280,000
10 South Korea256,000

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