The road to recovery from COVID-19 for Australian tourism

George Athanasopoulos, Rob J Hyndman, Mitchell O'Hara‑Wild


COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on many industries around the world including tourism, and policy makers are interested in mapping out what the recovery path will look like. In this paper we focus on Australian tourism, analysing international arrivals and domestic flows. Both sectors have been severely affected by travel restrictions in the form of international and interstate border closures and regional lockdowns. We use statistical models of historical data to generate COVID-free counterfactual forecasts pretending that the pandemic never occurred. We also use survey responses from 443 tourism experts to generate scenario-based probabilistic forecasts for pessimistic, most-likely and optimistic paths to recovery. Using both sets of forecasts, we estimate the expected effect of the pandemic on the Australian tourism industry.