Deciding on a holiday destination isn’t as easy as it sounds. Budget, climate, preferred holiday activities, local language and attractions, amount of annual leave accrued… there are countless factors to consider, especially if you’re thinking of heading overseas. No wonder more than half of Australian holiday-makers sought help in choosing where to go on their last trip.
In the 12 months to September 2014, 12.7 million Australians took at least one holiday. Of those, 7.4 million had help choosing the destination of their last trip.
However, our preferred holiday information sources are evolving. Back in 2004, 13.3% of Aussie travellers used the internet to help choose their last destination, behind friends/relatives (20.5%) and previous personal experience of the destination (18.1%). Now the internet — spanning websites, social media, blogs and e-newsletters — is the most popular information source, used by 26.2% of Australian travellers to choose their last holiday destination.
Most popular information sources for choosing a holiday destination: 2004 vs 2014
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2003–September 2004 (n=17,389) and October 2013–September 2014 (n=10,442).
Deciding on distant lands
A considerably higher proportion of people who went overseas for their last holiday (75.2%) got help choosing their destination than those who travelled within Australia (55.0%).
This is consistent across most information channels: overseas holiday-makers are more likely than domestic travellers to consult the internet, guide books, travel brochures, airlines and travel agents when deciding where to go. Travel agents, in particular, are popular, helping 35.3% of people who went overseas for their last trip choose their destination — almost on a par with the internet (38.1%).
Meanwhile, people who holidayed within Australia on their last trip were not only less likely to use the internet (23.8%) to decide on a destination, but dramatically less likely to consult a travel agent (4.5%).
Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Back in August, Roy Morgan Research found that travel agents were a very popular booking source among overseas holiday-makers, remaining competitive and relevant in the face of increasingly diverse digital booking options. These latest findings show that the same is true when it comes to deciding on overseas holiday destinations.
“The very nature of their profession requires travel agents to be experts in holiday destinations around the world, with insights and in-depth knowledge that allows them to give advice based on each traveller’s specific needs and circumstances. Even the best website can’t compete with that kind of personal service.
“Overall, however, the internet is now the most popular information source for Aussie travellers seeking help in choosing their destination. Not only is it convenient and easily accessible, it offers myriad online resources about every kind of holiday destination.
“Of course, travel agents and the web are just two of the information sources available to people trying to decide where to take a holiday. Understanding which type of traveller is likely to seek help from which source is one way tour operators, airlines and destination marketers can ensure that their messaging reaches their target audience.”
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.
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