The visitor economy

Tourism and events

Victoria is a remarkable, beautiful state. It allows the visitor to combine visits to its pristine beaches, ancient forests, snow-capped mountains and unusual wildlife, with the experiences of iconic cultural and sporting events, wineries, and fine restaurants. Its reputation as a fascinating and tourist-friendly experience grows steadily.

Vast numbers of tourists are attracted each year by Melbourne's sophisticated city experiences and world class major events and by regional Victoria's nature-based attractions including the enchanting penguin parade at Philip Island and the striking landscapes of the Great Ocean Road.

Video: Great Ocean Road

Victoria has consolidated its place as one of Australia's fastest growing tourist destinations, especially for Asian visitors. In 2017-18 tourism in Victoria was estimated to be worth $26.7 billion to the economy in Gross State Product (GSP) and generated a total of 232,700 jobs (or 7.2 per cent of employment in Victoria). 1

Tourism expenditure reached a record-breaking $31.0 billion in the year ending June 2019, an increase of $11.0 billion over the past five years. Victoria's successful visitor economy has produced a rate of tourism growth well above the national performance. Over the last five years total tourism expenditure in Victoria has grown by 9.2 per cent per annum, compared to the national growth rate of 7.6 per cent per annum.2

International overnight visitors to Victoria spent an estimated A$8.6 billion in the year ending June 2019, representing growth of 12.2 per cent per annum over the period year ending June 2014 to June 2019. The Chinese market has underpinned Victoria's international visitor and expenditure growth in recent times. China's visitor expenditure is the highest of all international visitor markets at $3.2 billion and generated 37.6 per cent of total international visitor expenditure in Victoria in the year ending June 2019 (more than the next nine international markets combined).2

In Melbourne, total visitor expenditure reached $19.5 billion, with an estimated 35.8 million visitors comprising 14.0 million domestic and international overnight visitors and 21.8 million domestic daytrip visitors.2

Melbourne continues to attract more interstate visitors and expenditure by Australians than Sydney. Melbourne received 465,200 more interstate visitors and A$861 million more visitor expenditure than Sydney in the year ending June 2019.2

In regional Victoria, total tourism expenditure reached $11.5 billion from 19.3 million domestic and international overnight visitors and 39.7 million domestic daytrip visitors.2

Victoria’s visitor economy is the state's second largest service export sector after international education. The state's rich regional landscapes have considerable untapped investment potential to develop new visitor experiences.

Victoria is now working to further boost its visitor economy. A strongly supportive government is working with investors to develop new services and infrastructure to provide ever increasing quality experiences for new and returning visitors.


  1. 2017-18 State Tourism Satellite Accounts produced by Tourism Research Australia, August 2019.
  2. International Visitor Survey, National Visitor Survey, June 2019, Tourism Research Australia, Canberra, released October 2019.