Tourism

The new big trend in domestic travel

So often, we find ourselves writing about beautiful international destinations.

From Europe to Canada and Fiji, these are places on everyone’s bucket list.

But one thing we don’t write enough about is Aussies travelling domestically.

Luckily, thanks to some new research, Aussies are begining to travel not merely domestically, but into regional Australia.

Roughly 77 per cent of regional Australians and 73 per cent of city-dwellers visited a non-city destination in the past year according to new research from Kantar TNS.

And regional travel is even more attractive in 2018.

80 per cent of regional-dwellers and three-quarters (74 per cent) of those living in cities are intending to visit a non-city destination in the next 12 months.

The findings headline Domesticate 2018 – the 12th annual syndicated study into the travel attitudes of Australians and outlook for the domestic travel industry by Kantar TNS; but the major insight, says the company’s Director of Travel and Leisure Ed Steiner, is that the key to making a regional destination stand-out is to stop talking about ‘regional’ travel.

“People don’t think about regional destinations as brands. Marketers must be especially wary of language and talk about ‘experiences’ not ‘destinations’.”

“What is resonating with travellers about regional travel is the true diversity of experiences on offer.”

The key to unlocking a destination’s potential is emphasising the right combination of experiences that are unique to a place and its surroundings, adds Steiner.

“People’s need to constantly refresh is a consistent driver of their travel.”

“Escaping the ‘every day’ is vital and getting away from crowds is now the second most important motivator of intrastate travel after relaxation.”

“Australia is a short-break destination, yet we are competing with longer holidays to Fiji, Bali and New Zealand.”

“The impending Easter Long Weekend and upcoming school holidays are popular times for families, especially to explore their great Aussie ‘backyard’ and regional operators must promote their experiences first if they want to capture that market share.”

“Overwhelmingly, we found through our qualitative research that for Australians, it is what they can do at the destination that really counts, says Steiner.

“Travellers are drawn to experiences, which means destinations cannot be a one-trick pony.”

“In particular, Indigenous culture and post-settlement are motivators of regional travel – Australians want to learn more about our people, our past and our land.

“From delivering experiences that extend into the evening to leveraging the sounds and sights of nature, it’s all about optimising relaxation. Indigenous cultural experiences will also drive repeat visitation.”

Holidays are now considered an essential expense for Australians to ‘escape’ their city life. Short breaks alleviate stress, more so if outside cities, but regional marketers must get more savvy to cut through the clutter.

In 2018, the top five domestic travel experiences being considered by regional Australians are beach/coastal (64 per cent), metro/city (50 per cent), food/wine (40 per cent), national parks (38 per cent) and events/festivals (36 per cent).

For city-dwellers, it is beach/coastal (57 per cent), metro/city (47 per cent), food/wine (42 per cent), national parks (32 per cent) and a tie for fifth between small towns and events/festivals (both 29 per cent).

Interestingly; hills/mountains, rivers/lakes and bush/outback all rated greater than 20 per cent for both regional and city residents; while adventure also tipped the scale at 23 per cent for regional dwellers.

Regional Australians are also finding metro/city experiences less appealing this year (down from 59 to 50 per cent), the snow has more than doubled for both groups (from six to 15 per cent) while rivers/lakes are going to be more frequently visited by regional Aussies in 2018 (up to 33 per cent from 22 per cent).

The influence of all traditional travel influencer channels also fell in 2018 with the exception of word-of-mouth.

Destination websites fell to 30 per cent from 38 per cent in 2017, special packages and online offers to 27 per cent from 34 per cent and online review sites to 23 per cent from 31 per cent.

Critically, over half (54 per cent) of Australians also think most information on social media is unreliable compared to just 27 per cent of their APAC neighbours, adds Steiner.

“We are finding that Australian travellers are far more cynical when it comes to what information they consume and act upon using social media.”

“In fact, half of Aussies (49 per cent) feel the branded content on social media is not even relevant to them compared to a quarter (26 per cent) of APAC travellers.”

“This means it is absolutely crucial that content planning is not simply based around the reach of a network.”

“Brands not only need to improve the way that content relates to their customers in the moment, but they also need to work harder to build trust.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Events

Clear intentions crucial for making lasting connections, says networking strategist

by Huntley Mitchell

A prominent networking expert reckons cruel intentions are key for making valuable connections. Whoops, sorry! that should read ‘clear intentions’.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Chinese tourists cancel trips to “punish” New Zealand

by Ali Coulton

A cooling of relations between China and New Zealand has turned icy as Chinese state media reports tourists are cancelling their trips to the land of the long white cloud.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Flight Centre’s Top Destinations to Visit for 2019 reveal cold is no longer hot

by Christian Fleetwood

The news comes as a shock to the Travel Weekly staff after a broken air conditioner forced us to convert our office into a sauna.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

BARGAIN: Indian airline to be sold for 1 cent

by Christian Fleetwood

Shares in this airline cost less than the price of a cup of coffee, but you might want to reconsider this bargain on the stock exchange.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

From detention centre to tourism hotspot?

by Ali Coulton

Christmas Island has the potential to turn into Australia’s next tourism hotspot, but the government has other plans.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Wholesalers

Corporate Travel Management’s half-yearly profit growth soars

by Huntley Mitchell

CTM’s office bottle opener is set to get a workout today following some very positive financial results for the corporate travel player.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Major US airlines to make gender option on tickets more inclusive

by Christian Fleetwood

In a big win for equality and inclusiveness, United and American Airlines will make it optional to leave gender as male or female—as well as unspecified or undisclosed.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Giddy up slow pokes! The first entry for our Women in Travel Awards is already in

by Christian Fleetwood

We’re considering giving this woman an award just for being the first to enter the WIT Awards two years in a row!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Authority of Thailand and Asia Escape Holidays entertain Perth agents

Meanwhile, we’re three hours behind deadline because we spent our morning researching our dream holiday in Phuket instead of doing our job.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Big fat cruise wrap

It’s Wednesday and that can only mean two things: Cruise Wrap and our turn to take the office dog to his weekly manicure.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek interview with East Hotel’s Todd Handy

This week, we took East Hotel’s general manager aside for an uber-private chat in a secret location. Okay, fine – we emailed him.

Share

CommentComments

News

Bestjet employees reveal tense working conditions and withheld refunds

Just when you thought the Bestjet drama couldn’t get any juicier, former employees have come out with some explosive claims about the now-defunct OTA.

Share

CommentComments