Economic Value

12 April 2012

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.

Contribution of Tourism to NSW

Economic Contribution of Tourism to NSW 2019-20 (PDF 584 kb)

Tourism’s Value to NSW 2018-19 (PDF 57 kb)

These reports highlight the significant value of the tourism industry to NSW as well as its contribution to the Australian economy. Key measures include tourism consumption, tourism gross state product, tourism gross value added, tourism employment and tourism businesses.

In 2019-20, tourism employed 1 in every 16 jobs in NSW and contributed $30.2 billion to the state’s gross state product.

Source: State Tourism Satellite Account 2019-20, Tourism Research Australia

Contribution of Tourism to each region in NSW

Regional Tourism Satellite Account reports for 2019-20

The Regional Tourism Satellite Accounts provide information on the economic importance of tourism for each of NSW’s tourism regions. Reports include infographics and data tables for Sydney and for each tourism region in Australia.

Excluding the contribution of the rest of Australia, the Sydney tourism region accounted for 47% of the total direct and 50% of the total indirect tourism employment in NSW and 55% of the State’s total tourism Gross State Product.

Note: The following infographics are image files. For the same data in an Excel spreadsheet format, see the Tourism Research Australia website.
Blue Mountains New England North West Sydney
Capital Country North Coast South Coast
Central Coast Outback NSW The Murray
Central NSW Riverina
Hunter Snowy Mountains

Summary table

Direct tourism contribution Total tourism contribution
Gross regional product
Gross regional product
Sydney 8,986 81.8 16,691 122.4
Blue Mountains 232 3.3 430 4.4
Capital Country 280 4.1 545 5.6
Central Coast 428 6.5 804  8.6
Central NSW 480 8.0 943  10.6
Hunter 1,043 14.5 1,976 19.6
New England North West 321 5.0 630 6.7
North Coast 1,608  23.7 3,104 32.0
Outback NSW 92 1.7 159 2.1
Riverina 229 3.7 480 5.1
Snowy Mountains 232 4.3 438 5.5
South Coast 1,063 14.5 1,951 19.4
The Murray 234 3.8 441 4.9
Regional NSW 6,244 93.3 13,530 133.6
Rest of Australia 1,627 9.1
New South Wales 15,230 175.1 30,221 256.1

Source: Regional Tourism Satellite Account 2019-20, Tourism Research Australia

Our Events Tally

Business Events

NSW Regional Conferencing Research report 2018 - 2019 (PDF 836 kb)

The conferencing sector brings significant economic and employment benefits to NSW. In 2018-19, DNSW provided conferencing grants to 33 events in regional NSW to support the development of conferencing and business events in regional NSW.

Total Conference Attendees

The events were attended by 7,158 conference people, of which 89% were overnight visitors who spent $219 per night.

Total Expenditure

The events generated an estimated $4.1 million in expenditure from non-local attendees.

Source: Destination NSW Regional Conferencing Grant Recipient Delegate Surveys and Event Owner Surveys 2018-19, Destination NSW.

Leisure Events

Each year there are hundreds of events held throughout Sydney and NSW, which appeal to a broad spectrum of audiences and experiences – all with the potential to generate tourism arrivals and expenditure in destinations throughout the state.

Domestic Visitor Nights

In the year ended December 2021, domestic leisure event visitors stayed approximately 2.1 million nights in NSW, of which 21% were spent in Sydney and the rest in regional NSW.

Domestic Overnight Expenditure

Domestic overnight leisure event visitors spent an estimated $585 million in NSW for the year, of which over a quarter (25%) was spent in Sydney.

Source: National Visitor Survey, Year Ended December 2021; Tourism Research Australia.

The Australian tourism industry

State Tourism Satellite Account 2019-20

The State Tourism Satellite Account highlights the importance of tourism to each state and territory’s economy in Australia.

Tourism Businesses in Australia June 2016 to 2021

Tourism Businesses in Australia report estimates the number of tourism businesses in Australia’s tourism industry by state, by industry type, by employment size and by tourism region in Australia.

State of the Industry 2018-19

The State of the Industry report assesses the current performance of the Australian tourism industry and its progress on the Tourism 2020 potential. It also reports on visitation statistics on the demand side, and aviation, accommodation and employment statistics and investment estimates on the supply side.

Tourism Investment Monitor 2020-21

The Tourism Investment Monitor reports on the number and value of significant projects in Australia’s tourism investment pipeline in 2020-21. It focuses on arts and recreation, aviation and accommodation projects.

Key results for NSW:

  • New South Wales accounted for around one-third of all tourism investment, with 56 projects valued at $13.7 billion. This was a slight decrease of $0.4 billion compared with 2019-20.
  • The highest amount of the investment went to the aviation sector ($5.7 billion).
  • Capital city investment was $13.0 billion.
  • Regional investment was $0.8 billion.

Source: Tourism Research Australia

Related pages

Facts & Figures Research

Tourism Forecasts

Destination Research

Destination NSW Westpac Tourism Expenditure Monitor