Research from Oxford Economics has found Airbnb is an important pillar of Australia’s tourism industry, contributing $13.6-billion to Gross Domestic Product and supporting almost 95,000 Aussie jobs in 2022 alone.
The independent report titled The Economic Impact of Airbnb in APAC, found the platform accounted for approximately 7.8 percent of the tourism industry’s contribution to GDP in 2022, up from 5 percent in 2019.
The report also highlights the powerful multiplier effect Airbnb guest spending has within local communities. In 2022, Airbnb guests spent a total of $12.3-billion in Australia at restaurants, retail stores and on transportation among other tourist activities.
It details the significant contribution made by Airbnb guests to domestic tourism across the nation. In 2022, domestic Airbnb guest spending totalled $9.7-billion and accounted for 79 percent of total Airbnb guest spend in Australia, up from 64 percent in 2019.
The report also explores a profound change in travel behaviour since the pandemic: the dispersal of tourism away from urban areas.
“Airbnb has clearly played a major role in the resilience and rebirth of the Australian travel and tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Airbnb has been at the heart of some of the trends reshaping the nation’s travel and tourism industry, including the shift in travel away from cities and towards more rural communities.
“Domestic travellers have been crucial to the tourism sector’s resilience over the past three years as Aussie guests saw opportunities in domestic travel as a substitute for international holidays, with self-drive and regional trips increasing in popularity which led to a wider dispersion of tourism spend outside the traditional or ‘popular’ destinations in Australia.”
Kristian Kolding, Head of Consulting for Oxford Economics Australia
“Airbnb is a proven and effective way to grow tourism and create jobs. The contribution to both GDP and jobs driven by travel on Airbnb in Australia has created powerful economic ripple effects that support businesses such as retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes — which are often the foundation for life in local communities — and has generated jobs that went far beyond where travellers stayed and with whom.
“Travel is now more dispersed, and so the economic benefits are being shared across more destinations, enabling a valuable economic contribution to rural and regional areas. This dispersal is being driven by Hosts on Airbnb and in turn creating economic opportunities for small communities where there are no hotels.
“As destinations across Australia continue to recover, we are committed to partnering with governments and communities to rebuild their tourism economies in a way that is equitable, inclusive and sustainable.”
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager Australia and New Zealand
This report explores the 12 months to March 2023 — representing a year since travel restrictions started to be removed across Australia.
Key highlights from the report include:
- Airbnb contributed $13.6-billion to Australia’s GDP, equivalent to 0.55 percent of total GDP.
- The total economic impact of Airbnb in Australia equates to 7.8 percent of the entire tourism sector’s total contribution to GDP in 2022, and 7 percent of the sector’s total contribution to employment.
- Airbnb supported 94,700 jobs in Australia in 2022.
- One in every 14 jobs generated by tourism in Australia is associated with Airbnb.
- The total jobs supported by Airbnb represents some $5.2-billion in wages paid in the 12 months to March 2023.
- Airbnb’s rapid recovery in the Australian market since the pandemic resulted in an estimated 14,900 more jobs supported by Airbnb activity in 2022* than pre-COVID 2019.
- Domestic Australian visitors accounted for 88 percent of Airbnb guests in Australia.
- The United Kingdom was Australia’s largest origin market, accounting for 16 percent of total international Airbnb guests.
- Airbnb guests spent a total of $12.3-billion in Australia on accommodation and other goods and services such as dining and retail, accounting for around 11 percent of the country’s total tourism spending.
- Airbnb guests in Australia spent on average $1,276 per trip during the 12 month period which includes accommodation as well as purchases from local businesses and transport.
- Airbnb guest spending in Australia fell by only 11 percent between 2019 and 2020, compared to a 28 percent drop in the broader Australian travel and tourism sector.
- In Australia, the pandemic years saw significant growth in Airbnb guest spending on accommodation in non-urban areas, accounting for 35 percent of gross booking value in 2022, up from 26 percent in 2019.