Melbourne remains the top Aussie holiday city, but there’s a new guy in second place

City skyscrapers with the sun setting behind
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The latest research into preferred holiday destinations from Roy Morgan in the year to June 2023 shows over 14.6 million Australians aged 14+ (67.7%) would like to spend at least one night in the next two years at a domestic holiday destination.

    Melbourne has retained top spot as the preferred holiday destination with 2,977,000 Australians aged 14+ expressing a preference to stay at least one night in the Victorian capital on a trip in the next two years – up over 800,000 from two years ago during the middle of the COVID pandemic.

    Over 2.4 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 545,000 Victorians also said they would like to spend at least a night in their capital city in the next two years.

    Following the end of pandemic restrictions, the preference for travelling to Sydney has soared – and the New South Wales capital is now Australia’s second most preferred destination mentioned by 2,905,000 Australians – up over 900,000 from two years ago.

    Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2018 – June 2023, average interviews per 12-month period; n=38,989.

    Gold Coast, which soared to first place in popularity during the pandemic, has now dropped back to third position with 2,647,000 Australians mentioning travelling to the city in the next two years.

    Queensland capital city Brisbane is the fourth most popular domestic holiday destination with 1,963,000 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 1,918,000.

    “Australia’s two largest cities had trailed behind the Queensland resort city throughout much of the pandemic as extended lockdowns in both cities deterred potential holidaymakers,” Michelle Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan said.

    “However, since lockdowns ended in October 2021 the preference for both cities has rapidly grown and in 2023 the two cities are clearly the most preferred for Australians looking for a holiday.”

    There has also been a rapid increase for those Australians mentioning travelling to Perth in the next two years since mid-2021, up 215,000 to 1,425,000 – just behind Canberra on 1,525,000.

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