Booking.com: Press

West Aussies are discovering their Stateopens in new window
As winter chills closed in on the South West, West Australians looked to the north for their mid-year holiday destination. With Australia’s usual international getaways closed due to travel restrictions, Booking.com’s search engine recorded a significant increase in Aussie popularity for destinations such as Kalbarri, Exmouth and Coral Bay leaving usual South West holiday location in the dust. Booking.com area manager for Australia Luke Wilson said border restrictions have resulted in many West Australians travelling intrastate for a winter holiday sun fix. “We’re seeing further afield destinations in the north of the state rise up the ranks in searches on Booking.com as travellers plan longer escapes to regional WA instead of overseas holidays.” “We’ve seen a significant increase in West Australians looking to head north for their next trip, more so than at this time in previous years.” With travel restrictions impeding Australia’s usual getaway locations of the Pacific Islands and Bali, Mr Wilson believes West Aussies are looking for the next best thing. Mr Wilson said search results on the site for Bali dropped substantially in July by 50 places from the top 100 most searched destinations, with WA searches coming into the top 20. Margaret River Busselton Tourism association co-chief executive Steve Harrison said whilst July school holidays were very busy for the South West, a significant decline in visitation and spend was noticed since then. “The north will be experiencing additional demand this winter and this will certainly have been boosted by those who might have otherwise looked to take a longer holiday in Bali or elsewhere in South East Asia,” Mr Harrison said. Despite a decline in visitation for the winter months, the Margaret River destination website is marking an increase in engagement and new visitation compared to last year presenting high WA market interest in visiting the region. Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the South West was “like summer in terms of bookings” with many visitors travelling to other destinations like Albany due to such overwhelming demand. “Interstate and international travel restrictions mean the State has a whole new market of intrastate travellers – many who haven’t taken regular holidays in WA for decades.”
21
Aug
2020
www.bdtimes.com.au
Stanthorpe on list of top searched Australian destinationsopens in new window
STANTHORPE'S popularity continues to strengthen, as Australian holiday makers search for a winter getaway. Booking.com has revealed the top searched destinations in July, and Queensland and Western Australia has dominated the list. With Australia's usual getaway locations of the Pacific Islands and Bali still closed due to travel restrictions, it seems Aussies are still looking for the next best thing. Stanthorpe has shot from number 56 on the list last year to number 7 in 2020. There was a renewed interest in the Queensland classics of Maleny, Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island, with each experiencing a significant increase in ranking in comparison to 2019. As for the most popular Queensland island and beach getaway, Daydream Island was top of mind in the state. The top searched destinations with a search rank increase of over 100 places YoY include: 1. Kalbarri, WA #22  2. Maleny, QLD #35  3. Exmouth, WA #38  4. Mudgee, NSW #39 5. Yallingup, WA #41  6. Geraldton, WA #50  7. Stanthorpe, QLD #56  8. Agnes Water, QLD #58 9. Rainbow Beach, QLD #60  10. Fraser Island, QLD #66 "While Australia is closed off to Europe and the Pacific Islands, it is heartening to see travellers heading back to iconic coastal QLD and WA destinations for their winter holiday sun fix," Booking.com Australia Area Manager Luke Wilson said. "Queenslanders, conscious of not being complacent of restrictions returning are looking to travel to traditional coastal destinations mostly within one to two hours' north drive of Brisbane. "This correlates directly with our previous May and June wish list data which highlighted Queensland was on the top of Australian travellers minds for the school holiday period." 
14
Aug
2020
www.thechronicle.com.au
Star power helps Coast holiday destinations surge to topopens in new window
Two Sunshine Coast destinations have surged into Australia’s top-10 most searched among holiday-makers, with the region’s tourism body attributing some of the success to the star power of the Hemsworth brothers and pro-golfer Adam Scott. Holiday-accommodation site Booking.com ranked the top-10 destinations that rose across 100 places in booking searches in July, compared to the same period last year. Visit Sunshine Coast and Booking.com revealed Maleny climbed to Australia’s second-most searched destination, a massive jump compared to its number-35 position last year. Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, hit the headlines when world-champion golfer and Sunshine Coast resident Adam Scott used some of his isolation time to play a few games of golf at Maleny Golf Club, including one that he live streamed to his global social media audience. Rainbow Beach, between Cooloola National Park and Fraser Island, took out the number-nine spot, compared to 60th place in July last year. The holiday spot north of Noosa gained worldwide exposure when Chris and Liam Hemsworth visited with their families in July. While the stars enjoyed a low-key stay, their social media posts against the beach backdrop reportedly sent Booking.com search engine into a frenzy. Rob Gough, known as the Ice Man of Rainbow Beach, became an overnight celebrity for serving “Thor” his favourite salted caramel ice cream. Booking.com said with Australia’s usual getaway locations of the Pacific Islands and Bali still closed due to travel restrictions, it seemed Aussies were still looking for the “next best thing” with a renewed interest in the Queensland classics of Maleny, Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island. “The fact that the Sunshine Coast has been able to create so much interest for two such diverse destinations highlights what makes the Sunshine Coast such a special destination,” Visit Sunshine Coast interim CEO Craig Davidson said. What a second wave would do to Coast economy “While we have some of Australia’s most exceptional beaches, we also have a lush hinterland, with its spaciousness and stunning natural attractions. “The reason why both celebrities and other travellers love the region so much is that it is so relaxed. “Even the biggest stars let nature take centrestage.” Booking.com area manager for Australia Luke Wilson said it was “heartening” to see travellers return to iconic coastal Queensland and Western Australian destinations for their winter holiday sun fix. “Our July search trends demonstrate confidence is slowly returning,” Mr Wilson said. “Queenslanders, conscious of not being complacent of restrictions returning are also looking to travel to traditional coastal destinations mostly within one to two hours’ north drive of Brisbane. “This correlates directly with our previous May and June wish list data which highlighted Queensland was on the top of Australian travellers minds for the school holiday period.” Top searched destinations with a search rank increase (#) of more than 100 places July 2020 v July 2019 1. Kalbarri, WA #22  2. Maleny, QLD #35  3. Exmouth, WA #38  4. Mudgee, NSW #39 5. Yallingup, WA #41  6. Geraldton, WA #50  7. Stanthorpe, QLD #56  8. Agnes Water, QLD #58 9. Rainbow Beach, QLD #60  10. Fraser Island, QLD #66
13
Aug
2020
www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
Rainbow Beach the new flavour of the month on Booking.comopens in new window
GYMPIE’S coastline has become the place for a winter holiday with popular travel group, Booking.com revealing interest in holidaying at Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island has surged in the wake of the pandemic. New data from the agency has revealed searches for the two tourism sun spots are more than 100 spots higher than they were at this time last year. With international tourism meccas like Bali and the Pacific Islands no longer on the menu, Rainbow Beach now sits at number 60, and Fraser Island number 66. Both were among the 10 biggest movers and shakers on the site. Booking.com Australia area manager Luke Wilson said it was heartening to watch travellers heading back to iconic coastal areas with the normal destinations not an option. “Our July search trends demonstrate confidence is slowly returning and there is still a strong appetite for destinations around Western Australia in particular. Kalbarri, Exmouth and Yallingup have all seen a significant increase of over 100 places in our July search lists than in 2019,” Mr Wilson said. “Queenslanders, conscious of not being complacent of restrictions returning are also looking to travel to traditional coastal destinations mostly within one to two hours’ north drive of Brisbane. “This correlates directly with our previous May and June wish list data which highlighted Qld was on the top of Australian travellers’ minds for the school holiday period. “Destinations in and around the Sunshine Coast such as Maleny, Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island have also seen search rank changes of over 100 places in July compared to 2019.  “Whilst Australian domestic travel resumes and we embrace holidaying at home, Booking is committed to making it easy for Aussies to turn their local travel dreams into reality when the time is right.”
13
Aug
2020
www.gympietimes.com.au
Gladstone region seaside town surges into Top 10opens in new window
A GLADSTONE region seaside town is becoming more popular by the minute. Booking.com has just released its latest travel trends which showed Agnes Water jump more than 100 spots in the rankings compared to this time last year. Of the top-searched destinations with a search rank increase of over 100 places year on year in July, Agnes Water came in at number eight. Queensland and Western Australia locations dominated the Top 10. A renewed interest in Queensland destinations Maleny, Agnes Water, Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island was clear, with each experiencing a significant increase in ranking by more 100 places in comparison to 2019. Popular Agnes Water spots included Edge on Beaches and 1770 Lagoons Central Apartment Resort. Booking.com area manager for Australia Luke Wilson said while Australia was closed off to Europe and the Pacific Islands, it was heartening to see travellers heading back to iconic coastal Queensland and Western Australian destinations for their winter holiday sun fix. “Queenslanders, conscious of not being complacent of restrictions returning are also looking to travel to traditional coastal destinations mostly within one to two hours’ north drive of Brisbane,” Mr Wilson said. “This correlates directly with our previous May and June wish list data which highlighted Queensland was on the top of Australian travellers’ minds for the school holiday period.” The top searched destinations with a search rank increase of over 100 places Year on Year include: 1. Kalbarri, WA #22  2. Maleny, QLD #35  3. Exmouth, WA #38  4. Mudgee, NSW #39 5. Yallingup, WA #41  6. Geraldton, WA #50  7. Stanthorpe, QLD #56  8. Agnes Water, QLD #58 9. Rainbow Beach, QLD #60  10. Fraser Island, QLD #66
13
Aug
2020
www.gladstoneobserver.com.au