October 2020 – With the warmer months upon us, new data reveals ongoing state and territory border changes are not deterring Aussies from locking in their 2020 summer travel. Two months out from Christmas, data from leading travel site Wotif.com reveals many Aussies are reassessing their typical interstate travel plans and searching for relaxation closer to home.
Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch said: "Wotif data shows Aussies are determined to take a break this summer, with many staying local and locking in their travel plans earlier than previous years. It's promising to see the optimism and confidence coming through for travel, as a surplus of annual leave and ongoing flexible work conditions drive Aussies to take a local break this summer."
Travel within borders
According to Wotif data, there's been a dramatic shift in the number of Aussies looking to holiday within their own state, led by Queensland and Western Australia.
- Queensland – intrastate interest up over 50%
- Western Australia – intrastate interest up close to 50%
- New South Wales – intrastate interest up close to 30%
- South Australia – intrastate interest up over 30%
- Northern Territory – intrastate interest up close to 20%
- Tasmania – intrastate interest up over 15%
Finch continued: "Even with some interstate borders open and the possibility others will soon open, it’s clear Aussies have changed their preferences this year and are sticking to getaways within their own state. Accessibility and peace of mind are some of the most important travel considerations right now, which an intrastate trip provides."
International swaps – Bali fix in Byron and a slice of Fiji in the Whitsundays
If trends continue, NSW's North Coast is set to be the place to be this summer as New South Wales travellers find alternates to crossing state borders or going overseas. Yamba (up 320%), Byron Bay (up 200%) and Kingscliff (up 190%) are seeing particularly strong interest when compared to last year*** as more Aussies take a road trip up along the NSW North Coast – a strong option for those who would have previously gone to Bali, and no doubt helped by Qantas’ new Sydney to Ballina flight route.
Similarly, the Whitsundays is seeing stronger travel interest than last year, with interest up over 200%***. With airlines prioritising in-demand flight routes, intrastate flights provide the most certainty and are sure to dictate new trends, as travellers look for overseas equivalents locally.
2020/21 Summer Travel Tips
Commentary can be attributed to Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch
The 2020 Trend: International and state border closures are turning typical trends on their head. Wotif.com data shows booking patterns and preferences are evolving as a result of ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19.
Wotif Insider Tip: Travellers should be mindful that this summer won’t be like previous years and availability may differ. For those that can, avoid disappointment by getting in early and locking in a flexible deal. Take advantage of new flexible cancellation options as a result of COVID-19 and secure a great price now, while sorting out the details later. Should your situation change, you’ll have the option to adjust your travel plans as needed – just be sure to read the terms and conditions closely.
The 2020 Trend: Physical distancing and extra cleaning protocols have become the new normal for 2020, but how can you be sure what processes are in place when researching accommodation options?
Wotif Insider Tip: For greater peace of mind before booking, be sure to read the operators cleaning and safety practices which sites including Wotif.com now list online. On Wotif.com, look out for the “Enhanced Cleaning” filter to assist you in finding properties who are taking additional steps to clean and sanitise, or check reviews for a first-hand account from verified travellers, who have stayed at the property.
The 2020 Trend: With the absence of international tourists and business travellers right now, hoteliers, tourism operators, hospitality businesses and retailers across Australia’s capital cities are doing it tough. In fact, some regional areas, which have benefited from road tripping Aussies looking to getaway, are recovering faster than those in the cities****.
Wotif Insider Tip: If 2020 has seen you work-from-home, chances are it’s been a while since you’ve ventured into the city, so take advantage of less crowds and the great deals on offer and enjoy a staycation in your own city. You’ll have your pick of the best hotels, world-class restaurants and stunning attractions.
The 2020 Trend: Aussies are known for sticking to their tried and tested travel favourites, in fact 45% agree they enjoy travelling to the same Aussie holiday location each year** and with areas such as Byron Bay and the Sunshine Coast already trending, Wotif.com data shows Aussies are returning to familiar settings for a relaxing getaway.
Wotif Insider Tip: The local tourism industry has had an incredibly tough year and summer will be a pivotal time for many regions. Rather than return to the same destination this year, there are benefits to be had in trying somewhere different this summer. You’ll not only share the tourism love across the many communities that need the support, you’ll increase your chances of securing a good deal, plus enjoy the thrill of experiencing something new in Australia.
The 2020 Trend:Unprecedented, uncertain and stressful – there are many ways to describe 2020 and more than ever, the emotional benefits of planning a local summer break is what many people need right now.
Wotif Insider Tip: If you can and it is safe to do so, prioritise yourself and enjoy the indisputable benefits that travel provides. Even if it’s just a couple of days close to home, an Aussie holiday provides something to look forward to, a change of scenery and the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the beauty that people from all over the world come to see.
Top Trending Summer Destinations, according to wotif.com***
Based on accommodation interest on Wotif.com
New South Wales
- Newcastle – accommodation interest up over 350%
- Yamba – accommodation interest up cover 320% %
- Port Stephens – accommodation interest up over 300%
- Coffs Harbour – accommodation interest up close to 250%
- Lismore – accommodation interest up close to 240%
- Byron Bay – accommodation interest up close to 200%
- Kingscliff – accommodation interest up close to 190%
- Port Macquarie – accommodation interest up over 150%
- The Whitsundays – accommodation interest up over 200%
- Sunshine Coast – accommodation interest up over 200%
- Cairns – accommodation interest up over 130%
- Gold Coast – accommodation interest up close to 130%
- Hervey Bay – accommodation interest up over 110%
- Brisbane – accommodation interest up over 40%
- Geelong – accommodation interest up close to 100%
- Mornington Peninsula – accommodation interest up close to 80%
- Phillip Island – accommodation interest up over 75%
- Gippsland – accommodation interest up over 75%
- Great Ocean Road – accommodation interest up close to 70%
- The Murray – accommodation interest up over 50%
- York Peninsula – accommodation interest up over 360%
- Kangaroo Island – accommodation interest up over 330%
- Murray River – accommodation interest up over 210%
- Fleurieu Peninsula – accommodation interest up over 80%
- Barossa Valley – accommodation interest up over 75%
- Limestone Coast – accommodation interest up close to 60%
- Golden Outback – accommodation interest up over 1070%
- Broome – accommodation interest up over 980%
- Coral Coast – accommodation interest up close to 910%
- South West – accommodation interest up close to 910%
- Busselton – accommodation interest up over 710%
- Margaret River – accommodation interest up over 500%
- Mandurah – accommodation interest up over close to 175%
- Perth – accommodation interest up close to 60%
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*Based on intrastate accommodation interest in each Australian state and territory on Wotif.com from 13 September 2020 – 12 October 2020 compared to 15 September 2019 – 15 October 2019.
**Wotif research commissioned in collaboration with YouGov, June 2020. Total sample of 1,247 Australian adults 18+ who travel away from home on holidays, distributed throughout Australia. The data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
***Based on accommodation interest on Wotif.com from 13 September 2020 – 12 October 2020 compared to 15 September 2019 – 15 October 2019 for travel between 20 December 2020 to 2 January 2021.
****Australia and New Zealand: Where does recovery stand?, STR – 7 August 2020
Important note about travel and COVID-19: Before booking, travellers should consult the latest government restrictions for the area in which they wish to travel. Travellers should be mindful that government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change between booking and travel.
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