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Overview

This page provides information and data on the Tourism, Travel and Holiday Parks and Resorts sectors.

The Tourism industry encapsulates all businesses that provide goods or services to facilitate leisure and business activities away from the ‘home’ environment. Tourism has become one of the largest industries in Australia, serving the needs of both domestic and international visitors within the country.

Tourism generally represents the delivery of services to visitors (both domestic and international) who travel for personal, leisure and/or business-related purposes.

Tourism is one of five key ‘super-growth sectors’ driving new jobs and growth in the economy over the next decade and is a key driver of the nation’s economy:

  • Tourism is a $100 billion industry (total revenue for the last financial year). 
  • Tourism accounts for 10% of Australia’s exports.
  • The sector had a workforce of almost 600,00 workers in 2016–17, with a high proportion of part-time contracts.
  • There remains an estimated shortage of 38,000 workers in this sector.

The Travel sector encompasses travel agencies and tour arrangement agencies which act as intermediaries in distributing travel services on behalf of service producers.

  • The Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement services sector has experienced an annualised growth in revenue of 5% over the past five years to $8.3 billion.
  • The workforce is estimated to total just over 28,000 full-time equivalent workers, with a high proportion of part-time workers (42%). The industry is dominated by small enterprises with more than 90% employing fewer than 20 people.

The Holiday Parks and Resorts sector incorporates aspects of the Hospitality and Tourism sector, it primarily provides customers access to resorts, hotels, holiday parks, caravan parks and camping grounds that offer options for either short-term or long-term accommodation.

  • Domestic and international visitors generated 49.8 million nights in caravan parks and camping grounds around Australia in the year ending March 2017.
  • The workforce reached 114,00 workers in May 2017 and the industry is expected to grow with a further increase in employment of 5.7% between 2017 and 2022. This is equivalent to an additional 6,500 jobs.

Nationally recognised training in the Tourism sector is delivered under the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package.

For more information the Cookery, Hospitality, and Events industries, please click the respective links. 

Information sourced from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

 

IRC and Skills Forecast

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level in the Tourism sector has grown over the past decade, peaking in 2015. Despite declines in employment after 2015, the employment projections for the Accommodation, and Museum Operation industries are expected to grow slightly to 2023, while Travel Agency and Tour Operators are projected to remain steady.

Key occupations in the Tourism sector which are projected to grow by 5% or more in the coming years include:

  • Tourism and Travel Advisers (5%)
  • Gallery, Museum and Tour Guides (19%)
  • Conference and Event Organisers (13%)
  • Advertising Public Relations and Sales Managers (10%)
  • Ticket Salespersons (7%).

Contract, Program and Project Administrators, Caretakers, and Caravan Park and Camping Ground Managers occupations are projected to decline by 2023.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Tourism-related qualifications decreased from over 30,000 in 2014 to approximately 23,000 in 2017. Completions dropped from 9,528 in 2014 to 8,929 in 2017. Over half of all enrolments were at the certificate III level and the majority of training was in Tourism qualifications, Travel qualifications and Tourism and Travel qualifications. Most of the enrolments in this sector lead to the occupations of Tourism and Travel Adviser, Tourist Information Officer and Travel Consultant.   

Over half of all training was delivered by private providers, and just over 33% by TAFE. Over 60% of training was funded by the Commonwealth and state governments, under a quarter was funded by domestic fee-for-service, and 13% was funded by international fee-for-service.  

The state with the highest proportion of students was Queensland (30%), followed by New South Wales (20%) and Victoria (19%). Approximately 11% of students were located overseas. 

Almost 3,700 apprentices and trainees commenced in 2017, with over 2,460 completions. The highest proportion of apprentices in training were reported in Queensland (30%) and the majority were enrolled in a certificate II to diploma level in Tourism and Travel as a Travel Consultant.

For more information on the data sources and qualification scope, please refer to the data sources and notes section below.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry.

For more data specific to your location please visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET.

To extract NCVER data and construct your own tables, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast, the top priority skills for the travel and tourism industry are:

  • speaking
  • service orientation
  • coordination
  • active listening
  • social perceptiveness.

Top skills for management roles in Tourism and Travel are:

  • service orientation
  • critical thinking
  • management of personnel resources
  • speaking
  • coordination
  • monitoring
  • active listening.

Some of the top key generic skills of the industry include:

  • customer service/marketing
  • communication/collaboration/social intelligence
  • managerial/leadership
  • technology and application
  • learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy.

Accommodation service related occupations reported by the job advertisement data as being in demand are:

  • Domestic Cleaners
  • Chefs
  • Other Accommodation and Hospitality Managers
  • Waiters
  • Café and Restaurant Managers.

Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement related occupations reported by the job advertisement data as being in demand are:

  • Tourism and Travel Advisers
  • Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers
  • Retail Managers
  • Gallery, Museum and Tour Guides
  • Other Specialist Managers.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were coordination, communication and service orientation skills. The most advertised Tourism related occupations were Domestic Cleaners, Chefs, and Tourism and Travel Advisors.  

The Australian Trade Commission’s Australian Tourism Labour Force Report: 2015-2020 provides a comprehensive picture of the current state of the tourism labour force and projects skills demand and shortages until 2020. The report shows that there is shortage of approximately 38,000 positions in the Tourism industry, and this is projected to grow to 123,000 by 2020. The report also cites a large increase in the proportion of businesses identifying skills deficiencies, with 69% reporting skills deficiencies amongst their staff. It appears that businesses are not finding the skills they need to operate effectively, and this may affect the productivity and competitiveness of the sector.

In regards to training, the survey indicated that businesses primarily attribute a lack of skills to insufficient experience, and workers’ skills not being aligned to the position and not the accessibility to qualified workers. In addition to boosting the numbers of students and trainees in Tourism-related training activities, there is also a need to ensure that this training is sufficiently tailored to the Tourism sector’s needs. The report suggests there is scope for the sector to work more closely with training providers to develop packages that better equip workers for on-the-job experience. Such approaches can address regional and occupational nuances. Elements of this approach have already been worked into various Tourism Employment Plans, which have sought to link regional tourism businesses with training providers to develop packages that target the needs of the local industry.

The Skills Forecast report found that employers in the Tourism industry identified the following challenges about current tourism and hospitality training and education:

  • recruitment and retention – there is an average vacancy rate of 7%
  • given the small business nature of the employers in this sector, employees often move from one employer to another to realise career aspirations
  • workers are increasingly working on a casual basis rather than in full-time employment
  • workers tend to have mismatched qualifications that are not aligned to their job roles
  • lack of relevant hard and soft skills in job applicants.

In the report Building the capabilities of the travel, tourism and hospitality workforce, Ackehurst and Loveder (2015) find the acquisition of skills in financial management, human resources, workplace health and safety, and business compliance are seen as important to the industry. As the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry operates across a diverse range of businesses, promoting portable skill-sets and the transferable experiences of workers is equally important.

Ackehurst and Loveder also show that labour supply ‘attraction’ and recruitment challenges have been identified as constraints to achieving growth in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry. In addition, the seasonal nature of some of the employment areas has resulted in the high use of casual labour and retention issues for some segments of the industry.

They also find the occupational return on education and training is relatively lower for students in this industry compared with all vocational trained graduates. Efforts are needed to address perceptions and promote the diverse opportunities and pathways available.

In order to address these concerns about perceptions of employment in hospitality and tourism Austrade commissioned ACIL Allen to develop an outreach strategy for the Tourism and Hospitality industry with the aim of developing and disseminating positive messaging to influence career perceptions and to attract people into the industry. The report Career and jobs outreach strategy outlines a six-tiered approach, which is centred on web-based and social media platforms to promote education and training and careers in Hospitality and Tourism.

According to Service Skills Australia’s Tourism and hospitality workforce insights, approaches to workforce development in the Tourism industry cannot be ‘one-size fits all’, as the industry is varied and has different workforce development needs depending on sector and size. Instead, workforce development and training needs to be tailored and targeted. 

In addition to these key national reports and strategies discussed above, there are a number of jurisdictional and regional reports and plans which look at the Tourism workforce in specific states, territories and regional areas. These reports are available on the websites listed in the Links and Resources section below. 

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

Government bodies

APEC Tourism Working Group

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)                                                                                                              

Destination NSW

South Australian Tourism Commission

Tourism & Events Queensland

Tourism Australia

Tourism Research Australia                                                         

Tourism NT        

Tourism Tasmania                                           

Tourism Victoria                              

Tourism Western Australia          

Visit Canberra

 

State-based industry associations

Accommodation Association of Australia

Australian Culinary Federation

Australian Federation of Travel Agents Ltd

Australian Hotels Association

Australian Regional Tourism Network

Australian Tourism Export Council

Caravan Industry Association of Australia

Clubs Australia

Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia

Guiding Organisations Australia

International Air Transport Association

International Association of Tour Guides

Restaurant & Catering Australia

Tourism Accommodation Australia

Tourism Hospitality Catering Institute of Australia

Tourism and Transport Forum Australia

YHA Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Services Union

United Voice

 

Relevant research

Tourism Research Australia State of the industry 2016

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit, employment projections to May 2023
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services
    • 891 Museum Operation
    • 440 Accommodation.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 4516 Tourism and Travel Advisers
    • 1421 Retail Managers
    • 6394 Ticket Salespersons
    • 1311 Advertising Public Relations and Sales Managers
    • 4514 Gallery Museum and Tour Guides
    • 5111 Contract Program and Project Administrators
    • 1493 Conference and Event Organisers
    • 1412 Caravan Park and Camping Ground Managers
    • 8991 Caretakers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total, 2000 to 2018, May quarter
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services
    • 891 Museum Operation
    • 440 Accommodation.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by selected industries and selected 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • SIT07 Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package
  • Guiding
    • SIT30316 - Certificate III in Guiding
    • SIT30512 - Certificate III in Guiding
    • SIT30513 - Certificate III in Guiding
    • SIT40112 - Certificate IV in Guiding
    • SIT40216 - Certificate IV in Guiding
  • Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT30416 - Certificate III in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT31209 - Certificate III in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT31212 - Certificate III in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT40316 - Certificate IV in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT40809 - Certificate IV in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT40812 - Certificate IV in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT50216 - Diploma of Holiday Park and Resort Management
    • SIT50409 - Diploma of Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT50412 - Diploma of Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT20509 - Certificate II in Holiday Parks and Resorts
    • SIT20512 - Certificate II in Holiday Parks and Resorts
  • Tourism
    • SIT10107 - Certificate I in Tourism (Australian Indigenous Culture)
    • SIT10112 - Certificate I in Tourism (Australian Indigenous Culture)
    • SIT10116 - Certificate I in Tourism (Australian Indigenous Culture)
    • SIT20107 - Certificate II in Tourism
    • SIT20112 - Certificate II in Tourism
    • SIT20116 - Certificate II in Tourism
    • SIT30107 - Certificate III in Tourism
    • SIT30112 - Certificate III in Tourism
    • SIT30116 - Certificate III in Tourism
    • SIT30207 - Certificate III in Tourism (Retail Travel Sales)
    • SIT30407 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)
    • SIT30507 - Certificate III in Tourism (Guiding)
    • SIT40107 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Guiding)
    • SIT40207 - Certificate IV in Tourism
    • SIT50107 - Diploma of Tourism
    • THT20502 - Certificate II in Tourism (Operations)
    • SIT60107 - Advanced Diploma of Tourism
  • Travel and Tourism and Tourism Management
    • SIT30212 - Certificate III in Travel
    • SIT30216 - Certificate III in Travel
    • SIT31312 - Certificate III in Travel
    • SIT40116 - Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
    • SIT40212 - Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
    • SIT50112 - Diploma of Travel and Tourism
    • SIT60112 - Advanced Diploma of Travel and Tourism
    • SIT50116 - Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management
    • SIT60116 - Advanced Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management
  • Other
    • SIT30307 - Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Wholesaling)
    • THC10199 - Certificate I in Caravan Park Operations
    • THC20404 - Certificate II in Caravan Park Operations
    • THC20499 - Certificate II in Caravan Park Operations
    • THC30404 - Certificate III in Caravan Park Operations
    • THC30499 - Certificate III in Caravan Park Operations
    • THC40404 - Certificate IV in Caravan Park Supervision
    • THC40499 - Certificate IV in Caravan Park Supervision
    • THC50199 - Diploma of Caravan Park Management
    • THC50404 - Diploma of Caravan Park Management
    • THT20298 - Certificate II in Tourism (Attractions and Theme Parks)
    • THT20398 - Certificate II in Tourism (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Guiding)
    • THT20498 - Certificate II in Tourism (Guiding)
    • THT30198 - Certificate III in Tourism (Meetings and Events)
    • THT30202 - Certificate III in Tourism (Retail Travel Sales)
    • THT30298 - Certificate III in Tourism (Retail Travel Sales)
    • THT30302 - Certificate III in Tourism (International Retail Travel Sales)
    • THT30398 - Certificate III in Tourism (International Retail Travel Sales)
    • THT30498 - Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Operations)
    • THT30502 - Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Wholesaling)
    • THT30598 - Certificate III in Tourism (Tour Wholesaling)
    • THT30602 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)
    • THT30698 - Certificate III in Tourism (Visitor Information Services)
    • THT30702 - Certificate III in Tourism (Attractions and Theme Parks)
    • THT30798 - Certificate III in Tourism (Attractions and Theme Parks)
    • THT30898 - Certificate III in Tourism (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Guiding)
    • THT30902 - Certificate III in Tourism (Guiding)
    • THT30998 - Certificate III in Tourism (Guiding)
    • THT31002 - Certificate III in Tourism (Operations)
    • THT40102 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Sales & Marketing)
    • THT40198 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Sales and Marketing)
    • THT40202 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Operations)
    • THT40298 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Team Leading)
    • THT40302 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Guiding)
    • THT40398 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Guiding)
    • THT40402 - Certificate IV in Tourism (Natural and Cultural Heritage)
    • THT50102 - Diploma of Tourism (Marketing and Product Development)
    • THT50198 - Diploma of Tourism (Marketing and Product Development)
    • THT50298 - Diploma of Tourism (Meetings and Events Management)
    • THT50302 - Diploma of Tourism (Operations Management)
    • THT50398 - Diploma of Tourism (Operations Management)
    • THT60102 - Advanced Diploma of Tourism Management
    • THT60198 - Advanced Diploma of Tourism Management.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

SIT07 Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018, <https://www.burning-glass.com>.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • Managers
    • Technicians and Trades Workers
    • Community and Personal Service Workers
    • Labourers
    • 44 Accommodation
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services.
  • Employers
    • 8113 Domestic Cleaners
    • 3513 Chefs
    • 1419 Other Accommodation and Hospitality Managers
    • 4315 Waiters
    • 1411 Café and Restaurant Managers
    • 44 Accommodation
    • 4516 Tourism and Travel Advisors
    • 1311 Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers
    • 1421 Retail Managers
    • 4514 Gallery, Museum and Tour Guides
    • 1399 Other Specialist Managers
    • 722 Agency and Tour Arrangement Services.
Updated: 21 Dec 2018
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