Tourism

Aussies get back in the travel game

Hannah Edensor

Aussies are upping their spend on travel in 2015, with international trips the flavour of the month.

These are the findings to come out of TripAdvisor’s latest TripBarometer study, which yesterday announced the results of its 44,000 person survey.

“The TripBarometer report paints a positive picture for travel this year, with travellers twice as likely to be increasing their vacation budgets than cutting their spending,” TripAdvisor’s cmo Barbara Messing said.

“Across the board, people want to take more international trips and Australia, Italy and the US continue to be the destinations topping travellers’ wish lists.”

Down under, the study found that 2015 will be a bigger and better year in terms of travel spend, with Aussies prepared to spend an average of $14,900 – a decent 19% jump on last year’s results.

Of those pumping out the cash, more than half are doing so because they’re planning a longer trip, while an equal proportion say it’s because they’ve been saving for a ‘wish list’ vacation.

Around the world, trips abroad are set to jump by over 15% this year, with Aussies taking things one step further, expecting to up international trips by over 36%.

According to the survey, Australia is also one of the cool kids, with 29% of global travellers putting Australia on their wish list in the next two years, if only money were no object. Our biggest fans lie in the Brits, Germans, Canadians, Swiss, Portuguese and Austrians.

On the flip side, Aussies dream mostly of visiting Canada’s Great North.

Currency exchange rates are a barrier for 16% of global travellers hoping to visit their dream destination, and down under, many Aussies actually opt not to travel at all due to the dollar dollar bill, with only 67 of 91% who planned to take a trip abroad actually following through.

And latest research findings released today from TNS support this, with head of travel and leisure Ed Steiner saying that in the past, a high Aussie dollar made overseas more appealing.

“Over the past five years, a high Australian dollar set against a weak US dollar made it difficult to justify the cost of an Australian holiday, particularly when overseas ‘shopping holidays’ and luxury services and accommodation were so affordable,” he said.

“We’re now on the verge of a sea change where shifts in the economic landscape and Australians’ renewed interest in local R&R and food and shopping experiences create a significant opportunity for the travel and retail sectors.”

According to the TripBarometer, Australian businesses reported they are serving more domestic (76%) than international guests (24%), and no doubt our dollar has a big hand in this result.

But in a positive outlook, nearly half of Aussie hoteliers say the currency exchange rate will actually have a good impact on their profitability this year, with 50% of businesses already planning to up their room rates by between three and 10%.

TNS survey results backed this up, with domestic visitor holidays on a steady incline since 2009, forking out more than $53.7 billion for the Aussie economy.

“This year’s TripBarometer reveals a rising confidence in the global hotel sector, with one in two hoteliers raising room rates and a significant growth in optimism worldwide,” TripAdvisor for Business’ president Marc Charron said.

“Increasing repeat business, driving more direct bookings, and encouraging online traveller reviews will be key themes for the hotel sector this year.”

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