Regional Domestic Tourism boom continued into June

Tourism Research Australia have released their monthly Snapshot domestic tourism data for June; and it confirms that the domestic regional tourism boom which started last year continued into the middle of this year. Clearly, the lock-downs in NSW, Victoria and ACT are likely to have changed that picture significantly from July onwards.

The quarterly National Visitor Survey for the June quarter will not be released until the end of this month, but in the meantime the sum of the April, May and June monthly Snapshot data gives us a good idea of what the NVS will likely show when released. We estimate that the NVS will show national domestic expenditure down about 2.7% y/y while Queensland will record a far healthier 6.1% increase y/y.

The monthly Snapshot data showed expenditure in June was up 135.2% y/y across the country. NSW rose 109.4%, Queensland was up 250.4% while Victoria fell by 1.1%. Obviously comparing one month this year to another last, when last year was so badly impacted by COVID closures, only tells us part of the story.

If we look at the picture for the sum of the past 12 months (i.e. the FY 2020/21) compared to the same period a year earlier (FY 2019/20) we see the evidence of the regional boom very clearly. This annual data shows expenditure across Australia fell 2.7 from a year earlier; in NSW it was up 6.7% while Victoria fell 33.2%. Queensland saw expenditures up 6.6%; but the real winner was Regional Queensland (excluding Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast) where expenditures jumped an impressive 19.6% for the year.

Th Snapshot data does not allow us to separate out data for TNQ (we will have to wait until the release of the next NVS for that) but the Cairns Airport data up to June (see details here), along with anecdotal evidence of the strength of tourism since Easter, suggests that the strong story seen across regional Queensland was, at least partly, reflected here too.

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