SYDNEY, 23 February 2022 – Today, leading travel site Wotif.com has announced the winners of the 2022 Aussie Town of the Year Awards with Launceston taking home the travel crown, marking Tasmania’s inaugural win as travel demand for the island state soars1.
The awards, now in their fifth year, are determined by a Wotif data index** that looks at accommodation affordability, quality, and traveller satisfaction. Recognising the country’s top destinations for 2022, the awards aim to highlight the best of Australia’s diverse destinations, to encourage Aussies to make the most of the year ahead and explore their own backyard.
The awards come as the tourism industry is hopeful for a travel revival. New Wotif research reveals that 71% of Aussies who plan to travel in Australia, intend on travelling interstate, and almost a third (31%) say even with international travel reopening, they plan to stay within Australia*. As state border restrictions ease, it’s clear Aussies are making up for lost time and reclaiming their freedom to travel, with the research confirming over half (53%) of Aussies have not travelled interstate since the start of the pandemic*.
Wotif Managing Director, Daniel Finch, says: “2022 is set to be a pivotal year for domestic tourism. While many Aussies have travelled over the last 24 months, few have had the chance to really explore and travel across state borders. It’s incredibly promising to see that 88% of Aussies planning to travel this year, are looking to stay within Australia*, and our hope is that these awards inspire Aussies to try something new and get back to exploring this beautiful country.”
While Tasmania claimed the top spot, there was representation from six states in the top ten. Victoria was the most decorated state, with three destinations making the final list: Yarra Valley, Bright and Halls Gap. Two Queensland destinations, Caloundra and Hervey Bay also made the list, as the state continues its lead in 2022 as the most sought-after Australian state2.
Wotif 2022 Aussie Town of the Year Award winners
1. Launceston, TAS – Arguably Australia’s newest foodie hub, with a UNESCO City of Gastronomy title to prove it. Boasting world class wineries, restaurants and the stunning Cataract Gorge just a short walk from the city centre, travellers will be leaving feeling full and happy.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Peppers Silo Hotel
2. Caloundra, QLD – With a string of excellent beaches on offer, the coastal town of Caloundra is paradise for swimmers and surfers alike. The aquatic activities don’t stop there, with kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing also on offer for the perfect summer getaway.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Rumba Beach Resort
3. Tamworth, NSW – Australia’s country music capital is also home to one of the country’s most renowned Big Things: the 12-metre high Golden Guitar. With plenty of country charm and hospitality, Tamworth also features an award-winning regional playground and marsupial park, galleries, museums and national parks.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Mercure Tamworth
4.Yarra Valley, VIC – Less than an hour from Melbourne, Yarra Valley offers an abundance of character and charm – historic homesteads, cellar doors, craft distilleries, and a century-old steam train through the Dandenong Ranges.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Yarra Valley Lodge
5.Adelaide Hills, SA – A convenient 30-minute drive from South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide Hills still feels like a world away with rolling landscapes, renowned wineries and the town of Hanhdorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Mount Lofty House MGallery
6.Bright, VIC – Nature lovers need look no further than Bright, where life is lived outdoors. From rivers and lakes to mountains and valleys, the area offers walking and hiking for all levels and some of the best cycling in Australia.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Ovens Valley Motor Inn
7.Hervey Bay, QLD – With swimming, hiking, whale watching, or a trip to K'gari (Fraser Island) on offer, Hervey Bay appeals to so many and is a must visit.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Mantra Hervey Bay
8.Halls Gap, VIC – An adventure enthusiast’s paradise in the heart of Grampians National Park, Halls Gap offers abseiling, rock climbing, bush walking and cycling. In addition to some amazing wildlife and native plants, ancient rock art showcases the region’s Indigenous history.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Breeze Holiday Parks
9.Batemans Bay, NSW – Crystal blue waters and a laid-back community make Batemans Bay the perfect place to slow down and connect with nature, all while supporting a deserving region.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Batemans Bay Lodge
10.Busselton, WA – The gateway to the world-famous Margaret River Wine Region, Busselton’s natural beauty, abundance of space, fine wine and fresh coastal air is the, as the locals call it, “remedy to modern life”.
Wotif’s accommodation tip: Bayview Geographe Resort
More reasons than one, make Launceston number one
As Launceston claims this year’s top spot, research commissioned by Wotif indicates 21% of Aussies say their desire to travel to Tasmania has grown in the last 12+ months*, led by NSW and VIC travellers*. Whether it’s fresh air, delicious food or relaxation that you’re after, Tasmania is what so many people have been looking for over the last two years.
Daniel Finch continued: “Launceston’s fresh produce, sparkling wine and commitment to great food is world-famous and with some of Tasmania’s most spectacular natural landmarks just a short drive away, including Tamar Valley, Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park and the Bay of Fire, there’s little doubt why demand for the city has grown by over 125% on Wotif.com3. Offering great affordability, with an average daily accommodation rate of $160 in 20214, several new hotels in the city and endless experiences on offer, a trip to Launceston is every bit worth the hype.”
Chris Griffin, CEO of Visit Northern Tasmania says: “We’ve always known Launceston is one of the best places in the world. We are so delighted to once again host visitors from the mainland as they return to Tasmania, and we can’t wait to welcome more throughout 2022. Our promise is that you will grow here – whether that’s through close encounters with our nature and wildlife, reconnecting with loved ones while travelling, indulging in our fresh seasonal produce, or getting outside your comfort zone on an adventure, you will change for the better when you visit us.”
The year for exploring, as Aussies reclaim their freedom to travel
With a quarter of Aussies (24%) planning to visit somewhere new within Australia in 2022, the appetite to domestic exploration is high, and when comparing travelling in Australia to overseas, the chance to get out into nature ranks highest (46%)*, which is certainly the case for this year’s winning destinations*.
Australia has so much to offer, and for the 45% of Aussies* dreaming of their next domestic adventure, the Wotif Aussie Town of the Year Awards serves as a great source of inspiration.
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1 Based on Wotif.com accommodation data that shows demand for Tasmania has increased by close to 185% in 2021, when compared to 2020
2 Based on Wotif research that states 40% of Aussies want to travel to Queensland in 2022*
3 Based on accommodation demand on Wotif.com from Jan – Sep 2021, compared Jan – Sep 2020
4 Based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation demand on Wotif.com from January 2021 to September 2021. Price is in Australian dollars and are not necessarily the rates displayed on the site. Subject to selections made.
*Wotif research commissioned in collaboration with YouGov. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1010 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20 – 24 January 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).
**Wotif 2021 Aussie Town of the Year Award index includes:
- Affordability: Based on the average daily rate for 3-5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation demand on Wotif.com from January 2021 to September 2021
- Accommodation: Based on accommodation quality, quantity and deals on Wotif.com in 2021
- Reviews: Based on the average traveller review rating on Wotif.com for each destination in 2021
- Leisure appeal: Based on destinations where the average length of stay has increased over 2021
Wotif… it’s Aussie For Travel. 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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