July 2020 – With restrictions continuing to ease across the country, many Aussies are set to make the most of winter school holidays by travelling locally to support regional communities, with new research from leading travel site Wotif.com confirming over half (53%) of Aussies believe they need to make the most of this year and support local Australian tourism1.
It comes as the research also reveals over 3 in 4 families (76%) will now place greater importance on Australian travel, even when international travel restrictions lift.
After spending months indoors, Aussie families have a new-found appreciation for domestic travel and are keen to get out and enjoy a local adventure. Travel demand is returning for the country’s regular hotspots, while many regional areas are seeing unprecedented interest, according to the latest data from Wotif.com, with towns including Yass, NSW and Warwick, QLD surging by close to 270%2.
Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch said, “With the devastating bushfires over summer and subsequent COVID-19 restrictions, many Aussie families missed out on their summer and Easter holiday but as confidence returns and the desire to travel grows, the winter school holidays finally provides families a chance to take that much deserved break.
"Aussies have an incredibly unique opportunity this year, to spend time rediscovering what makes Australia so special, while making a significant impact by travelling locally. Never has a quick weekend away or road trip been so meaningful – to the families looking to reconnect after being in isolation and to the many regional communities that rely on tourism."
1Wotif 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.
2 Based on family accommodation interest on Wotif.com from 15 May 2020 – 11 June 2020 compared to 17 April 2020 – 14 May 2020 compared to for travel over each state’s respective winter school holidays dates.
Nostalgic family trips are top of the list
Where will Australian families travel to first? Wotif research shows most parents (76%) miss the simplicity of childhood holidays, with the vast majority (81%) looking back on their childhood holidays with fondness, despite only travelling locally as a child.
Finch continued: "After months of uncertainty, these school holidays families will be looking for familiar experiences where they feel most comfortable. Our research shows that 61% are planning to return to destinations that remind them of their youth and correlating with that, we're seeing increasing travel interest for holiday rentals and self-catered apartments, where families can reconnect with one another and set their own pace.
There’s nothing like a great Aussie road trip
With so much ground to cover, Aussies certainly know how to road trip and when asked how and where they plan to travel, road trips and natural attractions ranked first for Aussie families. Interestingly, families are also set to be the quickest to embrace interstate travel, with 58% planning to travel across borders as soon as they open.Finch said: "Our Wotif data shows visits to national parks, beaches and regional hubs, that have largely been off-limits are in high demand these school holidays, particularly in NSW, VIC and SA.
Taking the kids on a scenic road trip is an achievable way Aussies will start to embrace travel again, using the time to appreciate and teach their kids about what makes Australia so unique, like visiting one of Australia's Big Things, or stopping to buy some roadside local produce."
Holidays that give back
Finch added: “With the impacts of the bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions on the tourism industry becoming clear, it’s likely we’ll see Aussies making a conscious effort to do their bit by travelling regionally. In fact, our research confirmed that more than ever, the overwhelming majority (82%) feel responsibility to support Australian tourism, local communities and small businesses.”The research further reveals 84% of Aussie families say that knowing that their travel could help an affected community recover makes them want to travel locally this year, and similar numbers (81%) also say they will be looking to support destinations that have had to deal with the joint repercussions of the summer bushfires and COVID-19.
Wotif’s top family travel tips
- Follow government restrictions: Before booking, travellers should check the latest government restrictions for the area in which they wish to travel and be mindful that travel guidelines may change between booking and travel.
- Be booking savvy: Travellers should consider booking options with built-in flexibility, like “flexible cancellation” or “Reserve Now, Pay Later” deals. Both options are available as filters on Wotif.com and are sure to help with peace of mind should plans change.
- Follow the tricks of the trade: Many accommodation providers are offering incentive pricing for longer stays, so to get the best value, it’s worth being flexible with your travel dates and considering staying an extra night or two. If travellers have free accounts with sites like Wotif.com, be sure to be logged in when browsing to access member only deals, offering an extra 10% to 50% off select properties.
- Plan and book ahead: With social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions in place, avoid disappointment by researching and booking local activities and attractions in advance.
- Keep it simple: Our number one piece of advice for families, especially now, is to remember that in the eyes of a child, it’s the little things that count. You don’t need to break the budget or travel far to create lasting memories with their kids.
Australia’s top school holiday destinations, according to Wotif.com
Most Popular School Holiday Destinations*
Trending School Holiday Destinations**
New South Wales
1. Bowral – interest up close to 470%
2. Orange – interest up over 400%
3. Snowy Mountains
3. Yass – interest up close to 270%
4. Byron Bay
4. Tenterfield – interest up close to 270%
5. Hunter Valley
5. Dubbo – interest up over 260%
6. Wollongong – interest up close to 250%
7. Byron Bay – interest up over 200%
8. Blue Mountains
8. Tamworth – interest up over 200%
9. Sydney – interest up close to 180%
10. Kiama – interest up close to 170%
1. Gold Coast
1. Hervey Bay – interest up close to 1140%
2. Sunshine Coast
2. Brisbane – interest up over 1135%
3. Ballandean – interest up over 1030%
4. Stanthorpe – interest up over 1030%
5. Rockhampton – interest up over 900%
6. Sunshine Coast – interest up over 700%
7. Townsville – interest up over 530%
8. Hervey Bay
8. Gold Coast – interest up close to 510%
9. Bundaberg – interest up over 500%
10. Warwick – interest up over 480%
1. Geelong – interest close to 1800%
2. Great Ocean Road
2. Phillip Island – interest over 900%
3. Mornington Peninsula
3. Melbourne – interest close to 870%
4. Mornington Peninsula – interest up over 500%
5. Dandenong Ranges
5. Great Ocean Road – interest up over 400%
6. Phillip Island
6. Bendigo – interest up over 350%
7. Gippsland – interest up over 275%
8. Dandenong Ranges – interest up over 225%
9. Yarra Valley
9. Yarra Valley – interest up over 200%
10. Ballarat – interest up over 125%
1. Coral Coast
1. Golden Outback – interest up over 700%
2. Broome – interest up over 300%
3. Busselton – interest up over 250%
4. Margaret River
4. Mandurah – interest up over 250%
5. Perth – interest up over 240%
6. Margaret River – interest up over 150%
7. Golden Outback
7. Coral Coast – interest up over 80%
1. Adelaide – interest up over 400%
2. Fleurieu Peninsula
2. Fleurieu Peninsula – interest up over 250%
3. Kangaroo Island
3. Yorke Peninsula – interest up over 200%
4. Yorke Peninsula
4. Kangaroo Island– interest up over 200%
5. Limestone Coast
6. Murray River
7. Eyre Peninsula
8. Port Augusta
1. Launceston – interest up over 475%
2. Hobart – interest up close to 370%
3. North West Coast
3. Western Wilderness – interest up over 200%
4. Western Wilderness
4. North West Coast – interest up over 200%
- ENDS -
For travel inspiration and great deals, head to www.Wotif.com.
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*Based on family accommodation interest on Wotif.com for travel over each state’s respective winter school holidays dates
**Based on family accommodation interest on Wotif.com from 15 May 2020 – 11 June 2020 compared to 17 April 2020 – 14 May 2020 compared to for travel over each state’s respective winter school holidays dates.
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