Here at Travel Weekly, we tend to write so much about travelling itself that we often forget about the essential ingredient to our industry, the travellers themselves.
What interests them? And what’s influencing them to travel?
Is it an awesome Instagram selfie in a foreign location or a yearning to get to know the family heritage?
For us, it’s food. Always has been and always will be.
While we continue to drift off daydreaming about Italian gelato, Wotif has released a report uncovering the truths about who we are as a nation and how this influences the way we travel.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the report, aptly titled Wot’s Your Journey?, is the way we use travel to reinvigorate relationships.
According to the report, we hold family in high regard, with over half of Aussie holidays (53 per cent) spent with or visiting friends and family. We’re also swayed by the views of key people in our lives when choosing destinations and activities.
Family ties, along with national pride, motivate one in three (33 per cent) travellers, who believe it is important to visit wartime sites where Australian armies once fought in Turkey and France.
What’s going in our lives, and in the wider world also affects our choice of destination.
It appears an itch to travel is also inherited, with 45 per cent of people having a love of travel instilled in them by their parents, despite only a minority of people (26 per cent) saying they often had the experience to travel abroad as a child.
When looking back, the majority of Australian travellers (61 per cent) have positive memories of childhood holidays, which conjure strong feelings of nostalgia, such as a road trip in the family station wagon, despite being largely penny-pinching, no-frills jaunts (61 per cent).
Interestingly, two in three people with a migrant background (67 per cent) have undertaken pilgrimages back to their family’s country of origin.
Tumbling airfares, new routes by low-cost carriers and the rise of affordable travel options impact the destination choice for four out of five Aussie travellers, with women (86 per cent) more likely than males (74 per cent) to be influenced by these choices over the next five years.
And nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of parents would rather take their children out of school than travel during the expensive school holidays.
Wotif.com Travel Specialist Amanda Behre says: “Just over half of Aussie travellers (56 per cent) are heading abroad to feel more connected to the rest of the world.”
“Coming from a remote nation, we want to feel part of the bigger, global picture and are impelled to travel.
“That being said, just under half (49 per cent) of travellers said that their next holiday is likely to be here in Australia, showing we are equally interested in exploring our own backyard.”
“From Spencer Lake’s pink waters in Western Australia to Aurora Australis, the ‘Southern Lights’ in Tasmania, there’s no doubt that we live in an incredible country, with so many diverse experiences available without leaving home.”
“It was interesting to see two thirds (67 per cent) of Aussies view a local holiday as an opportunity to reinvest in the local economy and support regional or rural communities,” she added.