It’s no secret that many of us are feeling the pinch with the cost of living. However, Booking.com research has revealed travel remains top of mind with seven out of 10 Aussies (72 per cent) eager to prioritise domestic travel and holidaying at home over international trips in the next 12 months.
The research comes from their inaugural APAC Travel Confidence Index, which provides a snapshot of how confident consumers feel about exploring the world again and their motivation to travel.
The TCI report reveals the three biggest considerations for Australians looking to book travel in the next year: cost (72 per cent), safety (54 per cent) and convenience (36 per cent). In comparison, the top two considerations which ranked consistently high across all markets were ease of planning and booking travel, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.
The majority (72 per cent) also admitted that cost is the greatest consideration when it comes to post-pandemic travel, higher than the average (59 per cent) of all travellers polled across Asia-Pacific.
The insights have been drawn from Booking.com’s inaugural APAC Travel Confidence Index, which provides a snapshot of how confident consumers feel about exploring the world again and their motivation to travel.
The commissioned research, which polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories including more than 1000 from Australia between April and May 2022, combined with the company’s proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years, offers insights into the region’s travel confidence.
Travel confidence market ranking
The Travel Confidence Index explores the overall comfort levels, motivators and concerns of consumers across Asia-Pacific and how this varies across the region. Across the 11 countries polled, India emerged most confident with a clear majority (86 per cent) of Indian travellers stating they intend to travel in the next 12 months; followed closely by Vietnam and China. Australia comes in fifth place at 72 per cent – a healthy and positive confidence level – however, cost factors continue to impact purchase behaviours despite international borders further relaxing.
Top travel considerations and motivators
The desire to travel remains strong among Aussies overall, with cost (72 per cent), safety (54 per cent) and convenience (36 per cent) the top three considerations for those looking to book travel in the next year. In comparison, the top two considerations to rank consistently high across all markets were ease of planning and booking travel, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.
The desire to ‘just get away’ (51 per cent) emerged as the top motivator to travel for Australian consumers, followed by those wanting to reunite with family (42 per cent) and lastly those rebooking a pre-COVID trip (23 per cent). Interestingly, after two years of lockdowns and minimal travel, only 15 per cent of Aussies indicated that they were interested in travelling to a wellness retreat, a much lower response compared to other regions.
Top travel deterrents
While cost was a main consideration in booking travel, it also came out as the top concern for Aussie travellers with almost half (47 per cent) highlighting that in the current climate cost is a major deterrent, followed still, by the current fear of falling sick (39 per cent). Unsurprisingly, due to the ongoing nature of the constantly evolving pandemic and cost of living climate, the ‘access to flexible cancellations and clear refund information’ (67 per cent) was a key part of, and motivation or deterrent, to book travel.
Interestingly, despite cost strongly influencing Aussie travel decisions, almost half (40 per cent) believe they are likely to travel internationally in the next six months, with most (46 per cent) likely to continue to look within the Asia-Pacific region for their first trip.
Alternative accommodations accelerate
The type of accommodations Australians are wanting to stay in has also changed by the pandemic, with a third (37 per cent) agreeing that their preferences have shifted. While hotels remain the preferred accommodation, a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents are now favouring homes and apartments. This is even higher if you include ‘Bed and Breakfasts and ‘Other’ alternative accommodations in the mix.
Melissa Ellison, Area Manager Australia at Booking.com said, “It is clear that while travel has been reinvigorated with borders now open, the cost of living pressure across Australia is still a significant factor in the decision to travel again. Tourism operators and governments at all levels need to continue to work together to provide sustainable and affordable options for re-energising the sector.
“Our APAC Travel Confidence Index reflects how while travel intent remains strong, travel confidence remains nuanced and varied across Asia compared to Australia. The increased preference for homes and apartments as well as a majority still only seeking to travel domestically, should be considered a positive in supporting the local travel industry over the next 12 months,” said Ms Ellison.
“It is a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travellers, so we can truly make it easier for everyone to travel and experience the world again.”
Do you have any trips planned in the next 12 months? Are they domestic or international? Let us know in the comments section below.
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