A new Travel Trend Forecast from News Corp Australia has today revealed Australians are adjusting and adapting habits and plans to keep their travel dreams alive in 2024.
The biannual Consumer Travel Trend Forecast is an insight into the 13.5 million Australian travellers who engage with News Corp Australia’s brands every month.
The Trend Forecast uses the behavioural data from the News Travel Network audience, combined with primary research conducted by News Corp Australia with specialist research partners to uncover a holistic view of what’s guiding Australians’ needs, wants and choices, and how these factors are influencing their relationship with travel. This is overlaid with global and domestic research and the insights of the company’s senior travel editors to predict the key consumer travel trends that will shape the next six months.
The research identified four shared cultural themes that underpin how Australians are choosing what they can and can’t live without when it comes to travel decision-making.
- Escapism: Renewed delight at escaping the everyday, and getting out of the cycle of never-ending ‘blursdays’.
- Shared experience: Following social starvation across the pandemic, people are much more sensitive, emotionally and cognitively, to social interaction. A phenomenon called ‘social facilitation’.
- Micro-moments: Big things can come in small packages. Consumers are more conscious of ‘little luxuries’, and have a renewed ability to savour the small things.
- Being well: The mental model of wellness has meaningfully expanded. As has the level of importance placed on peoples’ wellbeing and their community’s wellbeing.
Managing director, food, health and travel Fiona Nilsson said, “With so much happening in the travel industry, we wanted to take stock of all the developments happening with travellers and look at how these shifts will impact our holiday plans, and importantly, what this means for travel clients to make their brand stand out in 2024 and beyond.”
News Corp Australia travel industry experts including Dan Krigstein, director of the Growth D_Stillery; Kerrie McCallum, editorial director – Premium Food, Health and Travel; Elizabeth Glover, general manager, Travel Industry, product and partnerships; and John Hannan, digital director, Escape, delicious. and Body+Soul, presented the consumer trends.
Key consumer trends identified:
THE SWIFT ERA
This trend is all about swift travel – shorter, more frequent trips, closer to home and often booked spontaneously. Despite the economic downturn, people are still committed to holidaying, but some are adjusting the tempo of their trips. The key takeaways for this audience is that they’re more likely to be travelling domestically. 84 per cent of this audience are cutting back the length of their holidays, looking for a sightseeing, city or beach holiday.
SECRET TRAVEL AGENTS AND TRAVEL SECRET AGENTS
A significant number of today’s travellers know exactly what they want when it comes to planning and booking their next holiday. The difference now is that these ‘professional amateurs’ are using AI tools when it comes to research and planning. When it comes to communicating with these travellers, brands need to connect with them through humour, charm, individuality, fun, and all the emotions that come from first-hand experiences of a destination. These secret travel agents are more likely to be females who have been impacted by cost of living pressures. They want safety, value and the opportunity to recharge with their family on short trips.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
While road-tripping is not a new trend, it continues its reign and shows no signs of stopping. Despite having a significant period of time when it was the only way to travel, people still love packing up the car and driving to their next holiday destination. This trend has maintained its popularity for a number of reasons – flight prices and the value of the Australian dollar overseas are still a deterrent for many who’d rather control costs by driving themselves and making the most of more affordable and free local attractions along the way. These travellers have been impacted slightly more than everyday travellers by cost of living and are really looking to have an outdoor getaway.
The travel maths mindset involves the splurge and save habits people apply when planning and paying for a holiday. Research identifies that 30 per cent of travellers are relying on loyalty points for flights and accommodation. Consumers are fans of bundling accommodation or meal offers when booking flights, offering a way of containing and easily managing their costs. The travel maths audience is more likely to be planning an overseas trip, and unsurprisingly looking for value while enjoying a fabulous resort or beach holiday
FROM MARKET TO MICHELIN
Drinking and dining is the main priority for many travellers but as people are watching their wallets, they are more mindful of coming up with economical ways of eating on holiday. Dinner at a famous restaurant with a three-month waiting list may be one of the most talked about moments of a trip, but it’s not the only one. People are just as excited about the famous convenience store egg sandwich in Tokyo or finding the best hawker stand in Singapore. The market to Michelin trend has been going on for years, however living cost pressures combined with adventurous spirits has put the spotlight on it now. This audience is cutting back on food experiences, while still trying to see the sites.
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