Data Sources: National Travel & Tourism Office, International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce
Australia closed its international borders in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After 19 months, on November 1, 2021, Australians were permitted to leave the country without having to apply for a travel exemption.
The United States is the most popular long-haul destination for Australians and travel to the United States remains strong. In 2022, Australia ranked as the tenth-largest market for inbound visitors with 642,000 Australians traveling to the United States and a total visitor spend of $3.8 billion.
Airlines flying between Australia and the United States include Air New Zealand, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Jetstar, Qantas, and United. There are direct flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and Dallas Fort Worth, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Australians visiting the United States travel farther, stay longer, and spend more than many other inbound markets. Australians have a great propensity for travel and are entitled to four weeks paid annual vacation. 90% of Australian visitors travel for pleasure and 75% are repeat travelers to the United States. Australians travel to the United States throughout the year but mostly between April- October, and December-January.
Australians’ relatively long periods of stay in the United States reflects the distance traveled. On average, Australians stay 18 nights. Australians typically visit two states and two to three cities. Australians love to travel to the United States and there is currently a pent-up demand fueling strong interest in visiting the U.S.
Most Australian travelers to the United States are FIT (Free and Independent Travelers) and over 28% rent a car. The most popular activities include shopping, sightseeing, visiting national parks/ monuments, visiting small towns/countryside, fine dining, visiting historical locations, visiting art galleries/museums, taking guided tours, visiting amusement/theme parks, attending concerts/ plays/musicals, visiting cultural/ethnic heritage sites, and attending sporting events. The top states visited are California, Hawaii, New York, Nevada, Florida and Texas.
Travel agents and tour operators are an important source of information and a key channel for making bookings. 38% of Australians book their trip to the United States trip through retail travel agents or online travel agents (OTAs). Consumer media, including digital and social media, are influential in stimulating interest and major local newspapers and special interest magazines regularly publish travel articles on the United States.
The Visit USA Organization’s annual Visit USA Expos are one of the largest events in the local travel industry’s calendar and the key event for promoting tourism to the United States to the travel trade. Over 1,000 travel agents in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane attend to meet with U.S. destinations and suppliers. A B2B session with tour operators is organized in conjunction with the expos. A list of upcoming tourism events promoting the United States is available on the Visit USA Australia website. The US Commercial Service works closely with both the Visit USA Committee and Brand USA. Travel expos targeting the consumer including the annual Snow Travel Expos and Flight Centre Expos provide additional opportunities to showcase niche tourism product. Additionally, IPW attracts a large delegation of Australian travel media and tour operators annually and provides an excellent promotional opportunity.