It appears cold is the new hot, with fresh insights from Expedia Group showing an emerging opportunity for regional hoteliers in cooler climates to bolster bookings this chilly season.
By looking at hotel demand data during last winter, Expedia has identified some noteworthy patterns that accommodation partners can take into account when planning their rate and occupancy strategies this year.
While most of the nation are traditionally on the hunt for warmth in the winter months, the data sheds light on an increase towards Aussies choosing cooler climates and taking advantage of regional towns for their winter getaways.
New South Wales has seen the largest increase in winter visitors with 35 per cent growth, compared to the traditionally favoured Sunshine State (30 per cent growth).
Similarly, Victoria saw a 25 per cent increase in travellers, while Western Australia and South Australia both saw a 10 per cent rise.
Domestic travel to these destinations as a whole grew almost five per cent year-on-year, according to Expedia, with the majority of guests travelling from interstate in the hunt for cooler temperatures and snowy country towns.
Flights to NSW were most common for those in Queensland and Victoria, with a 40 per cent increase in interstate travellers to both, while domestic travel to Victoria, Queensland, SA and WA predominantly came from NSW – 55 per cent, 45 per cent, 40 per cent and 30 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, WA saw the most intrastate travel, accounting for 20 per cent of the state’s total air ticket sales.
Expedia found that it’s the national regional towns that are enjoying the finest fruits of this fast-growing demand.
Orange in NSW saw a 20 per cent increase in travellers, while the Yarra Valley in Victoria saw 16 per cent growth. However, some are still wanting to soak up some winter sunshine, with Port Douglas in Queensland growing by 25 per cent year-on-year.
Jamie Griego, director of market management at Expedia Group, said the strong demand from domestic travellers will have an economic benefit for local hoteliers.
“We know that those from Generation X are most likely to be travelling over this period, as they regularly favour domestic travel,” he said.
“In fact, the same Expedia Group research shows that almost two thirds of this generation prefer staying in hotels.”