Ahead of the upcoming King’s Birthday long weekend, Nielsen has released a comprehensive analysis of the shifting travel preferences of Australians, the sites they visit online to inspire and plan their getaways, and the industry heavy-hitters spending big to attract them.
Latest Nielsen Consumer and Media View CMV data reveals Australians’ growing interest in domestic travel, online travel bookings, and an increased desire for travel in general.
According to the data, 76 per cent of Australians “display a keen interest in visiting new places,” with a significant majority showing a preference for “nature-centric experiences” 64 per cent, “coastal proximity” 59 per cent, and “exploration of secluded, off-the-beaten-track locations” 54 per cent.
Nielsen CMV data also reveals a surge in travel interest among younger Aussies 25 to 39, with 30 per cent planning some sort of travel – a statistic that makes this demographic 10 per cent more likely to travel than the average Australian.
In terms of online booking trends, both domestic 34 per cent and overseas 29 per cent travel packages are predominantly booked through online platforms, reflecting a significant growth over recent years. The preferred platforms among Australians include Booking Holdings Network 37 per cent, TripAdvisor 27 per cent, Virgin Travel and Tourism 20 per cent, and Expedia 15 per cent for travel packages, while Booking.com 30 per cent, Airbnb 17 per cent, and Hotels.com 10 per cent lead in accommodation bookings.
Average user engagement time on most travel platforms was consistent from March to April, although Uber and Airbnb did see an increase. On average, Uber users spent just over 22 minutes interacting with the platform, while Airbnb users spent roughly 17-and-a-half minutes on the platform.
While 42 per cent of Australians expressed their inclination towards domestic holidays, there’s a noticeable rise in interest for international travel. Over the next year, 35 per cent of Australians aim to venture abroad, marking a noteworthy uptick of 11 per cent compared to the data from two years ago.
Among those with international travel plans, popular destinations of choice comprise of Europe 39 per cent, North America – specifically the USA or Canada 24 per cent, the UK 23 per cent, and New Zealand 18 per cent.
In addition, Nielsen Ad Intel data also shows that between April 2021 and March 2022 the travel and tourism industry spent $381 million on advertising in Australia. However, post-COVID, that increased by 60%. In the last year, the sector has poured more than $608 million into advertising, with Qantas, Stayz, Airbnb, Flight Centre, and Virgin Australia topping the list of the biggest tourism and travel advertisers over that time.
When it comes to the nation’s domestic tourism boards, the agencies with the deepest ad pockets over the last 12 months were Tourism & Events Queensland, followed by Visit Victoria, Destination NSW, Western Australian Tourism Commission, South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Tasmania, and Northern Territory Tourist Commission.