5 September 2018 (Sydney, AUS) – Today, to mark its coming of age Australia’s first online travel site Wotif has announced a nationwide search to gift an Aussie town or city a new tourist attraction. Known as the ‘Next Big Thing’, the structure – to be backed and voted on by the nation – will join the ranks of 150+ unique Australian icons including the Big Banana and the Big Pineapple, aiming to support the domestic tourism industry and help drive money back into the local economy.
Australians are obsessed with ‘Big Things’
New research commissioned by Wotif highlights Australians’ love for ‘Big Things’. Widely regarded as a cult Aussie phenomenon, the research reveals our fascination with ‘Big Things’, including a desire to travel around the country to visit these oversized monuments. 90 per cent of Aussies have visited a ‘Big Thing’ in their lifetime and the average traveller has visited five ‘Big Things’.
More than half (60 per cent) of Australians will stop off if they see a ‘Big Thing’ while on the highway, and almost two out of five (39 per cent) Australians will travel out of their way – believing a visit to a ‘Big Thing’ improves any road trip.
The research reveals there’s a deep sense of pride for ‘Big Things’ among Aussies (60 per cent), with an overwhelming 80 per cent believing these structures are ‘uniquely Australian’, showcasing the fun-loving spirit of the nation.
Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch points to the significance of the ‘Next Big Thing’.
“As Wotif enters its 18th year, we want to celebrate with the Australian public and give back to the people that have helped Wotif evolve: destinations, tourism providers and travellers. What better way to do this than by giving Australia something synonymous with the tourism landscape, and which all Aussies love – the ‘Next Big Thing’?
“With more Aussies opting to travel locally and domestic travel predicted to grow by 21 per cent over the next 10 years , our decision to give Aussies just another reason to discover their own backyard, is something we feel passionate about.” continued Finch.
Wotif’s nationwide quest to find Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ has been driven by the sites ongoing commitment to the local tourism industry.
Since Wotif’s inception in a Brisbane garage in the year 2000, with a small range of properties and seven-day booking window, the site has grown to now display accommodation providers located in one third (or more than 4,900) of Australia’s towns.
“Regional Australia plays a critical role in the Australian tourism industry, accounting for 44 cents of every tourism dollar spent here . But it is often overlooked,” said Finch.
“As the search for Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ begins, we are excited to be able to put not just the big cities, but also regional areas on the map – to create excitement within these communities and a new reason to visit, helping to boost local economies.”
Back your own Backyard
The nationwide search will ask Aussies to submit their suggested ‘big thing’ idea and its proposed Aussie location via Wotif’s ‘Next Big Thing’ landing page. Aussies can nominate a person, food, animal, or any other object – as long as it’s big, and from Cabramatta (NSW) to Cooladdi (QLD), all destinations, right across Australia are eligible.
Public entries will be judged by Wotif, with a shortlist of finalists announced on Tuesday, 25 September. Throughout the process, those that will really get noticed may show, amongst other things, originality, imagination, a relevance to the local area and represent the intrinsic uniqueness of a ‘Big Thing’. For full details on the judging criteria visit the terms and conditions.
The final winner of the ‘Next Big Thing’ will then be chosen by the nation in a two-week voting process to take place 25 September – (midday) 9 October, with Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ planned to be built and unveiled by the end of the year.
Finch said: “We know from our research that 40 per cent of Australians wish there were more ‘Big Things’ to visit and more than a quarter have their own great ideas for new ‘Big Things’ that can be built. Wotif prides itself on its 2 million+ verified reviews, and wants to take this one step further by letting Aussies decide on the country’s next ‘Big Thing’ tourist attraction.
“It’s over to you Australia – back your favourite Aussie destination and have a say on what you think the ‘Next Big Thing’ should be,” concluded Finch.
From today, Australians will have the chance to nominate a town, city or suburb of their choosing and their suggested ‘Next Big Thing’ idea. Simply visit www.wotif.com/nextbigthing for full details.
18 things you didn’t know about Wotif
1. ‘Wotif’ was born in a garage in Milton, Brisbane initially with the name standbyaccom.com.
2. The first Wotif bookings were processed manually with staff calling hotels to book.
3. Over the past 18 years, Wotif has grown from displaying 60 properties to over 750,000 properties, 550 airlines and 25,000 activities in over 200 countries and territories around the world.
4. When Wotif launched it had a 7-day booking window, now Aussies can book up to 365 days in advance.
5. In the last 12 months, the number of nights booked on Wotif is enough to fill all Australian hotels over 1,100 times.
6. On average, four hotels are booked on Wotif every minute.
7. In the last 12 months alone, Wotif package deals have saved Aussies enough to travel from Sydney to Bali over 3,600 times.
8. 478 million hours have been spent browsing Wotif in the past year – that’s almost 55,000 years!
9. Over the last year alone, travellers who booked through Wotif have flown 138.7 million kilometres across Australia.
10. Wotif has real hotel reviews from more than 9 million travellers, including more than 2 million Australians.
11. Since launch, Wotif has helped 1-in-2 Aussies on a trip around Australia, New Zealand and the world.
12. The top five most booked travel destinations on Wotif are: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canberra .
13. The top five most booked international destinations on Wotif are: Bali, Singapore, London, Queenstown and Fiji .
14. Queensland is the most patriotic state on Wotif, with 8 of the top 10 destinations booked by Queenslanders in Queensland .
15. West Wyalong in Central West NSW has been the most affordable Aussie destination on Wotif since 2015 .
16. According to Wotif data, New Norfolk in Hobart and Berridale in the Snowy Mountains are the Aussie destinations seeing the biggest year-on-year growth .
17. Outside Australian capital cities, Coolangatta remains the most frequented airport on Wotif, year-round .
18. According to Wotif data, flights departing from Sydney have seen Aussies make big savings, with the average ticket price dropping the most over the past two years .
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About the Research
Research conducted on behalf of Wotif, August 2018. Total sample of 1003 Australian adults 18+ distributed throughout Australia. All data is representative of age, gender and region population estimates.
Wotif is Aussie For Travel. Established in a Brisbane garage in the year 2000, one in two Aussies have travelled with Wotif since it launched. Wotif offers travellers access to accommodation, flights, packages, activities and car hire both locally and overseas, with verified accommodation reviews from almost two million Australian and New Zealand travellers.
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