Economic Value

1 November 2011

The tourism and events sector is vital to the NSW economy contributing billions in revenue and supporting tens of thousands of jobs throughout the State - many of them in regional NSW. Tourism employment now accounts for approximately one in every 15 jobs in NSW.


Economic Contribution of Tourism to NSW 2016-17
State Tourism Satellite Accounts
Tourism Businesses in Australia June 2012 to June 2017
Economic Contribution of Tourism to each Tourism Region in NSW 2016-17

Our Tourism Tally


Tourism consumption in NSW = $42.5 billion
NSW’s share of national tourism consumption = 30%

Top tourism products/services that contributed most to tourism consumption in NSW:

Takeaway and restaurant meals 16%
Long distance passenger transportation 13%
Shopping (includes gifts and souvenirs) 12%
Accommodation services 11%
Fuel (petrol, diesel) 9%

Source: State Tourism Satellite Accounts, 2017-18, Tourism Research Australia (TRA) 


Estimated direct employment =182,900
Estimated indirect employment = 95,400
Total direct and indirect employment= 278,200

Source: State Tourism Satellite Accounts, 2017-18, TRA


Number of businesses involved in tourism = 98,744 (June 2017)

Source: Tourism Businesses in Australia (June 2012 - June 2018); TRA.

Accommodation establishments = 1,774 (hotels and serviced apartments with 10 rooms or more)

Source: STR, March QTR 2019

Total Overnight Visitors

Number of overnight visitors = 38.9 million
Market share visitors = 34.1%

Total Visitor Nights

Number of visitor nights = 203.6 million
Market share nights = 31.3%

Total Overnight Expenditure

Total overnight visitor expenditure = $39.95 billion
Expenditure share of Australia = 31.3%

Source: National and International Visitor Surveys, YE March 2019; TRA.

Tourism to Regional Areas

Domestic and international visitors to NSW destinations outside Sydney generated a massive 95.5 million nights of accommodation in Regional NSW and $137 billion in visitor overnight expenditure.

Source: National and International Visitor Surveys, YE March 2019; TRA.

Our Events Tally

There are now more than 163 events on the Sydney and NSW Event Calendar – all with the potential to generate tourism arrivals and expenditure in destinations throughout the State.

Total Visitor Nights

Number of visitor nights delivered by events visitors in NSW = 7.5 million, of which 42% were spent in Sydney.

Total Overnight Expenditure

Event visitors spent $3.2 billion in NSW in the year ending December 2018, of which 55% were spent in Sydney.

Source: National and International Visitor Surveys, YE March 2019; TRA