Melbourne bumps the Gold Coast as most preferred holiday destination: Roy Morgan

City skyscrapers with the sun setting behind
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The latest research from Roy Morgan shows Melbourne has regained top spot as the preferred holiday destination, knocking the Gold Coast off the top spot.

    2,797,000 Australians aged 14+ expressed a preference to stay at least one night in the Victorian capital on a trip in the next two years after the city dipped significantly in popularity during the pandemic years of 2020-22.

    The city was clearly the preferred holiday destination for Australians in the pre-pandemic period, and with the removal of the final mandatory isolation policies early in the December quarter 2022, the city has moved back into top spot.

    Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2018 – March 2023, average interviews per 12-month period; n=37,691. Base: Australians 14+.

    Almost 2.3 million of those mentioning a trip to Melbourne are coming from interstate locations – a higher number of interstate visitors than any other destination – while a further 500,000 Victorians also said they would like to spend at least a night in their capital city in the next two years.

    Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says the move to preference comes with the dropping of pandemic restrictions, but it still has some way to go.

    “Although Melbourne has returned to top spot, the preference of travelling to the Victorian capital is still below pre-pandemic levels when there were more than 4 million Australians who mentioned they would like to travel to the southern capital in the next two years for a holiday,” Levine said.

    Gold Coast, which soared to first place in popularity during the pandemic as the southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne experienced prolonged lockdowns, has (just) hung onto second place with 2,728,000 Australians mentioning travelling to the city in the next two years. Right behind in third is Sydney with 2,727,000 Australians now expressing a preference to travel to the harbour city in the next two years.

    Brisbane is the fourth most popular domestic holiday destination with 1,991,000 Australians mentioning they would like to spend at least one night in Brisbane on a trip in the next two years just in front of Tasmanian capital city Hobart on 1,943,000. There has also been a rapid increase for those Australians mentioning travelling to Perth in the next two years since mid-2021, up 150,000 to 1,357,000.


    Featured Image: Melbourne skyscrapers with the sun setting behind (iStock/DLMcK)

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