Australia to lose $25 billion as COVID-19 cripples foreign spending:

Staff reporterMay 3, 20200 min read

Australia is projected to lose $25 billion in foreign spending as COVID-19 cripples tourism from outside of Australia, according to

In this month’s Finder RBA Cash Rate Survey™ – the largest of its kind in Australia – 42 experts and economists weighed in on future cash rate moves and other issues related to the state of the Australian economy. 

The vast majority of experts (87%, 27/31) who weighed in on tourism, expect Australia’s borders to remain closed for the rest of the year, with only four respondents (13%, 4/31) indicating international travel restrictions would be lifted in 2020.

In total, 13 believe the border will fully reopen in the first 6 months of 2021, while 12 think it will happen later in the year.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder said there is a risk that the volume of international travellers won’t return for many years. 

"Continuing restrictions are projected to result in millions of fewer tourists into 2021 and with it, billions in foregone spending.

“This is a problem for all corners of Australia, with 44 cents of every tourism dollar spent in regional destinations,” Cooke said.

Tourism directly employs 666,000 Australians making up 5% of Australia’s workforce, according to Tourism Australia.

Australia shut its borders to non-residents amid the coronavirus pandemic on March 20.

International tourists delivered $45.4 billion to the economy last year, Tourism Research Australia figures show. 

Of that, $17.2 billion was spent by holidaymakers and $7.6 billion was spent by tourists visiting friends and relatives. Just over $13.3 billion was on education from visitors on a student visa. 

Foreigners typically spend around $5,211 on Australian travel and tourism per trip. 

Staff reporter

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Find out more in our privacy policy.
Accept Cookies