The tourism industry contributed 85 billion dollars (79 billion U.S. dollars) to Australia's economy last year after its strongest growth in almost a decade.
Figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the tourism industry added 84.97 billion dollars to the economy in the 2006-2007 financial year - an increase of 7.8 percent from the previous year and the largest growth in the sector since 1999.
The figures show the tourism industry represented 3.7 percent of Australia's gross domestic product and employed 482,800 people.
The report found air and water transport, eateries and retail trade were the most important sectors of the industry, while increased spending by Australians in their own country had driven domestic tourism consumption up 6.8 percent to 62.6 billion dollars (58 billion U.S. dollars).
International tourists injected 22.3 billion dollars (20.7 billion U.S. dollars) into the economy - an increase of 9.8 percent, the figures say.