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Overview

This page provides information and data on the Tourism, Travel and Accommodation 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.

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

The accommodation sector incorporates aspects of the Hospitality and Tourism sector and 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.

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

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

Information sourced from the most recently available Skills Forecast, the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

 

IRC and skills forecast

The Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC was not required to submit an annual update to their 2019 Skills Forecast during 2020. As such, the version published in 2019 remains the most recently published Skills Forecast for this industry.

Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Industry Reference Committee

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

Employment levels in the Tourism sector have been variable between industries. Although the Accommodation sector peaked at 117,200 in 2015, employment levels have declined overall between 2000 and 2020, with the most significant decline occurring between 2019 and 2020 (from 105,500 to a trough of 75,200). Both Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services, and Museum Operation also declined between 2019 and 2020, with Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services recording the most notable drop between these two sectors (from 51,900 to 35,200). Employment projections indicate increases in employment levels by 2024 for the Accommodation, and Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services sectors, while a slight decrease is predicted for Museum Operation.

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

  • Tourism and Travel Advisers (9%)
  • Gallery, Museum and Tour Guides (14%)
  • Advertising Public Relations and Sales Managers (14%)
  • Conference and Event Organisers (16%).

Ticket Salespersons is the only occupation projected to decline by 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Tourism-related qualifications have increased to roughly 19,190 in 2019 after a period of steady decline between 2015 and 2018 (from close to 27,090 to approximately 18,660). Completions have also increased slightly in 2019, to almost 7,530 following from a similar period of decline between 2015 and 2018 (from around 10,700 to approximately 7,000).

Almost half of all enrolments were at the certificate III level (47%), followed by certificate II (23%), certificate IV (18%) and Diploma or higher (12%). The majority of training was in Tourism (42%), Travel (26%), Travel and Tourism (17%) and Travel and Tourism Management (12%) qualifications, with a variety of intended occupations including Travel Consultant, Tourism and Travel Advisor, Tourist Information Officer, and Conference and Event Organiser.  

Over half of all training was delivered by private training providers (58%), while TAFE institutes delivered 33% of training. There was some variation between qualifications, with private training providers delivering close to three quarters of the training for Travel and Tourism (72%), and Travel (72%), while a higher proportion of training for Travel and Tourism Management (53%) was delivered by TAFE institutes. Overall, close to 56% of training was Commonwealth and state funded, followed by domestic fee for service (25%) and international fee for service (20%). Commonwealth and state funding was higher for TAFE institutes (75%), while domestic fee for service accounted for almost half of all funding at private training providers (46%).

Close to 25% of students resided in Queensland, followed by New South Wales (21%), overseas (15%) and Victoria (15%). The majority of training was delivered in New South Wales (29%) and Queensland (27%), followed by 18% in Victoria and 13% in Western Australia.

More than 3,270 apprentices and trainees commenced in 2019, with close to 2,500 completions. Commencements have been in decline since the peak of roughly 3,670 in 2016, while completions have been more variable, recording an increase in 2019 (up from approximately 1,570 in 2018). The main intended occupation was that of a Travel Consultant. The highest proportion of apprentices in training were reported by Queensland (28%) and New South Wales (25%), followed by Victoria (20%), Western Australia (12%) and South Australia (10%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET Students by Industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, the top priority skills for the industry (inclusive of the Tourism, Travel and Accommodation sectors) are:

  • Teamwork and communication
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
  • Problem solving
  • Self-management.

In addition, the top key generic skills for the industry (inclusive of the Tourism, Travel and Accommodation sectors) as identified by the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast are:

  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence
  • Customer service/Marketing
  • Learning agility/Information literacy/Intellectual autonomy and self-management
  • Managerial/Leadership
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN).

The top accommodation service-related occupations reported by the job advertisement data as being in demand included Domestic Cleaners, Chefs, and Accommodation and Hospitality Managers, with the Marriott and Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC identified as the top employers. In addition, the top generic skills in demand for this sector, as per job vacancy data, were communication skills, organisational skills and detail orientated.

The most common Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement related occupation reported by the job advertisement data as being in demand was Travel Consultant, with Flight Centre Australia and STA Travel identified as the top employers. In addition, the top generic skills in demand for this sector, as per job vacancy data, were communication skills, computer literacy and being energetic.

Several factors had been identified in the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast as posing challenges and opportunities to the industry. These included changes around government legislation and regulation, skills and knowledge shortages, limited career progression, staff retention, and new technologies and digitisation.

Although the industry offers a variety of career pathways, it was highlighted in the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast that many of these pathways are unknown, and the prevalence of young and casual workers may create the perception that career pathways are limited. Steps are being taken to streamline qualifications and create new pathways to support the entry to, and visibility of, career progression across the sector. Linked to the prevalence of a young and casual workforce is the challenge of staff retention. The median age of the workforce is 26, significantly lower than the national average of 40 years. It has been raised that younger workers tend to have other commitments such as study, and been suggested that employers have concerns about attitude and reliability among the sectors workforce. In addition, regional areas are impacted by the migration of younger workers to cities and coastal areas, resulting in a limited pool of workers. The importance of creating visible career pathways has been reflected in the Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan, which suggests the industry needs to develop a distinct brand that promotes the industry as a desirable career opportunity.

New technology and digitisation have meant the required skills of the workforce are changing and will continue to change to reflect new working environments. Some of the key technological changes impacting the Tourism, Travel and Accommodation sectors include:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) being used by businesses for content marketing to enhance the customers experience
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Travel Bots are used as virtual chatbots and assistants to address holiday and travel enquiries
  • M-commerce which includes buying and selling via smartphones and tablets, including mobile content purchases such as those made via ‘apps’.

The South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030 clearly outlines the importance of front-line capability among tourism businesses in order to sustain and grow towards future revenue and tourism targets. Through widespread industry consultation as a part of formulating this plan for the South Australian visitor economy, it was identified that industry requires ongoing development and training in a range of areas, including ongoing business training, digital skills enhancement, customer service standards, tailoring experiences to emerging markets, encouraging entrepreneurship, professionalisation of business delivery, development and availability of commissionable products, and availability of quality consumer research to underpin operational and investment decisions.

Changing consumer preferences have been noticed in the Accommodation sector, with accommodation preferences among travellers changing over time according to the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast. This includes the growth in popularity of caravan parks and camping grounds (an increase of 9% between 2017 and 2018, mainly attributed to younger visitors aged 20 to 29), as well as licensed serviced apartments being a particularly popular choice among international and domestic visitors as an alternative to hotels. There is however, evidence of hoteliers adapting to changing consumer preferences, with the report State of the Industry 2018-19 highlighting a 152% increase in traditional hotel and accommodation listings on the Airbnb platform worldwide.

Links and resources

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

 

Relevant research

State of the Industry 2018-19 – Tourism Research Australia

Queensland Tourism Workforce Plan – Jobs Queensland

The South Australian Visitor Economy Sector Plan 2030 – South Australian Tourism Commission

 

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

NSW Business Chamber - Tourism

Queensland Tourism Industry Council

Tasmanian Hospitality Association

Tourism Council of WA

Tourism Industry Council South Australia

Victoria Tourism Industry Council

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

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

International Air Transport Association

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 Workers Union

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit, employment projections to May 2024
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services
    • 891 Museum Operation
    • 440 Accommodation.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • 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 2020, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 August 2020 https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202020?OpenDocument

  • Employed total, 2000 to 2020, 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:

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 subject enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2020, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2020, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2017 and June 2020 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Accommodation services.
  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • Managers
    • Technicians and Trades Workers
    • Community and Personal Service Workers
    • Labourers
    • Managers
    • 44 Accommodation.
  • Employers
    • 811311 Domestic Cleaner
    • 351311 Chef
    • 141999 Accommodation and Hospitality Managers nec
    • 431511 Waiter
    • 141111 Café or Restaurant Manager
    • 44 Accommodation.
  • Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement services.
  • Generic skills/Occupations
    • Managers
    • Technicians and Trades Workers
    • Community and Personal Service Workers
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services.
  • Employers
    • 451612 Travel Consultant
    • 131112 Sales and Marketing Manager
    • 142116 Travel Agency Manager
    • 351311 Chef
    • 451412 Tour Guide
    • 722 Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement services.
Updated: 23 Nov 2020
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