Booking.com reveals how Aussies rediscovered a love for local travel this winter
Aussies may have travelled 75% less further overall than in 2019, but new data from Booking.com reveals the local stars on the rise, from Agnes Water in the East to Carnarvon in the West
Travel may not be how it once was in these unprecedented times, but new data from Booking.com reveals that the happiness travel brings can’t be measured in kilometers. 2020 has forced Aussies to explore closer to home, discovering and rediscovering hidden gems in our backyards.
Delving into this year’s travel patterns, Booking.com calculated that the average distance Aussies travelled this winter is down 75% from the same time last year (slightly higher than the global average of 63%)(1). Last winter, Australian travellers journeyed on average 3329 kilometers per trip(1). This year, that distance has dropped to just 820 kilometers, equivalent to just further than the distance from Sydney to Byron Bay!(2)
Happiness isn't measured in kilometres Understandably, the majority (75%) of the total distance travelled by Aussies between 1 June and 31 August 2020 was within the country, compared to only 16% during the same period in 2019 (3). Road trip-able coastal towns and rustic nature escapes have topped the list of trending destinations booked this winter, as many look to weekend escapes and family holidays adhering to travel restrictions and social distancing measures.
Domestic destinations rediscoveredMany Aussies have rediscovered local treasures, with well-loved Aussie getaway destinations seeing a sizeable increase. Queenslanders are seeking beachside retreats in Agnes Water, Sydney-siders are taking to wineries in Mudgee and West Aussies are venturing north for coastal escapes in Carnarvon and Kalbarri(4).
Top 10 trending destinations 're-discovered’ from June 1 – August 31(4):
1. Stanthorpe (QLD)
2. Carnarvon (WA)
3. Kalbarri (WA)
4. Agnes Water (QLD)
5. Exmouth (WA)
6. Geraldton (WA)
7. Jindabyne (NSW)
8. Mudgee (NSW)
9. Leura (NSW)
10. Montville (QLD)
While these rural gems have gained in relative prominence, the top booked destinations this winter show Aussies still love a city break with Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Perth taking out the top spots(5).
When it comes to accommodation choice, Aussies interestingly favoured chalets this year, followed by camping stays, indicating a rise in ski trips and bush escapes from the end of 2019, where only 13% of Aussies said they were keen to book a ski trip and 16% planned a camping holiday(6).
The unexpected route to our travel plans this summerWhile the events of the year have led to seismic shifts in travel behaviors and destination choices, travel has still found a way to satisfy many travellers' wanderlust. At the end of 2019, Aussies were dreaming of beautiful beaches (36%) and bustling city trips (33%). In fact, almost half (44%) dreamt of visiting family and friends before they knew their contact with them would have been limited this year(6).
Many of those travel desires would typically have been met in far flung destinations, but this year many have discovered these simple pleasures next door. So whether on the beaches of Queensland rather than Bali, or exploring the city delights of Sydney rather than New York, the travel desires of many Aussies have still been explored in 2020, just a little closer to home.
Luke Wilson, Area Manager Australia at Booking.com said: “During these unprecedented times, it’s reassuring to see Aussies’ passion for travel hasn’t changed. Whether it’s the memories captured, local destinations discovered or re-discovered, or relationships built, 2020 has proved that the happiness travel brings can’t be measured in kilometres.
There are plenty of Aussie adventures to be had in our own backyard, and it’s our mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world - offering the widest choice, great value and easiest experience for travellers to get out and enjoy safe travel, whether that’s at home or abroad.