TTF Media Release

Friday 14 August 2020


Fresh tourism data out today has revealed the enormous impact that both the recent bushfires and COVID-19 have had on Australia’s domestic tourism market over recent months the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) said today.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said that the National Visitor Survey to May showed domestic overnight tourism losses plummeting 41% or $2.6 billion over March, reflecting similar data previously released by TTF.

“The double whammy of the bushfires and the virus has hit our tourism industry like a freight train over recent months with our own economic research by Stafford Strategy revealing almost $4 billion per month being lost from international visitation and another $6 billion from domestic travel,” Margy Osmond said.

“These latest government results confirm once again that our industry has never encountered a catastrophe of this magnitude with the aviation sector pretty much grounded, the cruise industry at a standstill and hotel occupancy rates at less than 10 per cent during the lowest points of the crisis.

“Likewise, the events and arts sectors were forced to cancel major events, conferences and entire programs while bars and restaurants were decimated by tough yet necessary social distancing requirements.

“Our industry is now edging our way towards recovery but many challenges lie ahead, principally ongoing state border closures and lockdowns which obviously affect interstate travel demand as well as traveller confidence more generally in unaffected jurisdictions.

“And separate data compiled by DSpark for TTF also reinforces these results. While travelling less, capital city residents also played it safe travelling to destinations within driving distance from home for the July school holidays.”

The analysis for TTF used telco, public transport, road network and ABS Census data to monitor movements of capital city residents in real time for the period Saturday July 4 through to Saturday July 18 who travelled more than 50 kilometres from their place of residence.

“We have said previously that as people started to travel again once restrictions eventually ease, it would be about the road trip initially as people do perceive travelling in their own car as the safest place to be,” Margy Osmond continued.

“We will continue to raise important issues with governments like strategic investments and further support for the industry to restore traveller confidence, ahead of a busy state and territory election period and budget season fast approaching, including the Federal Budget on 6 October.”


Contact: TTF Manager Policy and Government Relations Lindsay Hermes 0418 948 447