Travel Agents

Inaugural CATO travel trends report reveals who is most likely to book with an agent

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

New research from the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO) has revealed which age groups are most likely to book with an agent.

CATO’s innaugural Australians on Holiday – International Leisure Travel Trends report, which was released today, shines a light on the shape and direction of Australia’s outbound leisure market by drawing on information compuled from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and an indipendent consumer survey.

Interestingly, the report revealed that people aged between 18-35 are 36 per cent more likely to go offline when booking their next holiday, as opposed to 32 per cent who said they were more likely to book online. The number of those more kilely to book offline drops to 27 per cent for those aged 36-50 with 35 per cent saying they book online, and the gap closes significantly for 51-60 with 28 per cent saying offline and 30 per cent saying online.

The numbers shift drastically for those aged between 61 and 70, with 46 per cent saying they book offline and 32 per cent saying online, but the 71+ age group shows the biggest divide with 55 per cent saying they are more likely to book offline and 12 per cent saying online.

Source: CATO's Australians on Holiday - International Leisure Travel Trends report
Source: CATO’s Australians on Holiday – International Leisure Travel Trends report

Other interesting take aways from the report were the sheer volume of Aussies who head overseas for their vacations, with 6.3 million of us taking an overseas leisure trip in 2018, representing 25.1 per cent of market penetration. We spent more than $46 billion, with an average of $7,300 per percon on holidays, visited 3.3 countries and enjoyed an average of 22 days on holiday per trip.

In terms of destinations, South East Asia was the most popular region for a break (accounting for 35 per cent of all holiday departures) and Indonesia the favourite country, well ahead of United States and New Zealand.

Source: CATO's Australians on Holiday - International Leisure Travel Trends report
Source: CATO’s Australians on Holiday – International Leisure Travel Trends report

While the appeal of an overseas holiday was strong across almost all age groups, the report reveals that older travellers (51+ years) tended to operate with larger holiday budgets, took longer breaks and were more inclined to explore long-haul destinations such as Europe. It also highlighted the fact in 2018 almost a quarter of Australians travelled alone on a holiday.

CATO managing director Brett Jardine said that the new report does more than bring together a broad range of data.

“It establishes a platform which the industry can now use to monitor changes in Australians’ overseas travel habits – from where they like to holiday to how much time and money they spend, and how this compares across different age categories,” Jardine said.

“In that sense, the value of the report will only grow each year as it reveals new and emerging trends that help us understand the changing behaviours of Australia holidaymakers.”

Go here to see the full report.

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