Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

With specialist tour operators, holiday accommodation and travel websites dedicated to them, Australia’s over-55s are an important demographic for the tourism industry. From grey nomads hitting the road in their motorhome or caravan, to empty-nesters exploring the world free of parental responsibility, these travellers often have unique holiday preferences and habits — including the types of destination they’d like to visit.

When asked which places in Australia they’d like to spend a holiday of three or more nights in the next two years, people aged 55+ are more likely than younger age groups to name inland and outback destinations and less likely to show interest in family-friendly coastal hot spots.

Compared to the average Australian, over-55s are 93% more likely to nominate Far West NSW (Cobar, Broken Hill, Bourke, Lightning Hill etc) as a potential holiday destination and 89% more likely to nominate Far North SA/Coober Pedy, and 70% more likely to name Outback Queensland (Charleville, Longreach, Mt Isa).

Where Australia’s over-55s would like to holiday for 3 or more nights (compared to the national average)


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2013 – September 2014 (n=8,336). This chart shows how likely over-55s are to want to take a holiday of 3 nights or more in each destination, compared to the average Australian, with 100 being the average

On the other hand, when it comes to coastal destinations they are 62% less likely than the average Aussie to choose Surfers Paradise and more likely to tend towards less ‘well-trodden’ places like Kangaroo Island and Hervey Bay.

Snowy and/or cold destinations don’t appeal to the 55+ brigade much either: they are 38% less likely than the average Australian to name NSW’s High Country and Snowfields as somewhere they’d like to holiday and 26% less likely to name Victoria’s High Country and Snowfields.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Although the holiday destinations that top the wish-lists of Aussies aged 55 or older are very similar to the rest of the population (Melbourne, Hobart, Perth and Sydney), some striking differences emerge once we look beyond the capital cities.


“While Surfer’s Paradise rates highly among the total population as a place they’d like to holiday, over-55s would rather go to Broome, Cairns or Margaret River.


“Unconstrained by the demands of jobs or children, Grey Nomads have the time and freedom to explore this huge country of ours and visit places that others simply don’t get to. Tourism agencies and operators keen to tap into this potentially lucrative market need to understand its particular needs, preferences and behaviours, and tailor their communications accordingly.”

View this release in full on our website,

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


travel, tourism, holidays, seniors, grey nomads




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