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Market Voice 19 Apr 2022 - 3 min read

Demand prepares for take-off: 3m Aussies planning a trip within three months – here are four key ways brands can understand and act on travel trends in year three of Covid

By Fiona Nilsson - News Corp Australia, Managing Director, Food and Travel | Partner Content

Australians’ intention to travel is exponentially increasing, with one in two Australian travel intenders now planning to travel in the next three months.

Every six months, News Corp Australia releases the Travel Trends Forecast, diving into the sentiment and decisions of the nation’s travellers. As Fiona Nilsson writes, with Roy Morgan reports 5.8 million adult* Australians intend to go on a holiday in the next 12 months, there are key ways brands can leverage travel for big results.

Wanderlust runs deep in Australian culture. Regardless of who you are or where you come from across our great land, we share a spirit for exploration. But the concept of travel has taken on a new identity in the past two years. Enter The Travel Network Trend Forecast, our latest research piece. 

The internally led research explores the new travel agenda and opens up a world of opportunity for brands wanting to understand and drive meaningful connections with consumers who have travel on their radar.

By understanding the shift in consumer sentiment towards travel, brands can explore narratives that will best resonate in market, driving stronger results as the industry experiences a continued resurgence.

The key trends

  1. Cautious independence
     
    Travel booking behaviour has increased in the last five months, with Australian travel intenders trying for DIY planning but instead seeking guidance from travel experts to ensure a perfect getaway.
  2. There’s nothing like Australia
     
    Intrastate travel remains the most popular form of planned holiday. Planning is centred on shorter trips and staying in accommodation that’s comfortable and homely.
  3. Screen-fuelled wanderlust
     
     Travel intenders are yearning for new experiences after being locked down for the past two years. Their primary motivation is no longer for connection – instead, new experiences have become the key driving factor. Being first movers, travellers are turning to their phones for social proof and validation.
  4. Loving our neighbours
     
    Australians are planning trips closer to home while they regain their confidence in travelling to far-flung destinations. New Zealand and the Pacific Islands are some of the closer destinations of intent.

Travel will take off in the next three to 12 months

Australians’ intention to travel is exponentially increasing, with one in two Australian travel intenders now planning to travel in the next three months. That’s a big jump, up from one in three in October 2021.

Overall, among Australians looking to have their next holiday overseas, 82 per cent are planning to do so in the next 12 months. The past two or more years are coming to a head, especially with the high volume of people who have had Covid in the beginning of 2022. Australians are seeking a means to an end of the pandemic. They want to get back to a sense of normality, and travelling – sooner rather than later – is an important part of that.

For international travel, millennials are the generational group with the most confidence, while those who are least confident are boomers. On top of this, there is a large gender difference at play, with 71 per cent of highly confident international travellers being male. There’s a sense that younger males feel they are missing out on adventure and exploration coupled with the confidence that they would feel safe during an overseas trip.

Brands need to be cognisant of differences in intent across generations, but perhaps more significantly, they need to be aware of the great divide between genders, with females being more concerned about health and safety versus males.

Those who have had Covid are booking trips

Unsurprisingly, Australians who have had Covid have now set their sights on travelling. This presents an opportunity for brands as consumers lean in to getting out there. As of early April, there were over 4.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia** and one in three travel intenders who have had Covid have booked everything for their next holiday.

Of course, concerns still linger when booking travel. One in two (56 per cent) travellers are actively looking for good safety protocols when booking overseas trips. This sentiment also rings true for people booking in the interstate and intrastate market. For brands to operate within this current market, it needs to first and foremost make consumers feel confident that their health and safety concerns are taken care of.

The Australian spirit and our sense of adventure is still very much intact. The pandemic has completely changed the lives of Australian consumers, and it has impacted travel in more ways than one. On one hand, there is a greater interest in local exploration and intrastate places and, on the other hand, the desire to explore globally has completely reignited. Changing sentiment and the trends uncovered in the latest Travel Network Trends Forecast expose the sense of urgency when it comes to travel and reinstates a national confidence in the relationship that we share with travel. There’s never been a better time to get on board.

Download the research pack here.


 

*Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, Jan - Dec 2021

**Australian Government Department of Health, case numbers as at 6th April 2022 . 

 

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