Five Australian Consumer Holiday Trends for 2023
After years of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing economic uncertainty, Australians have begun to rediscover the joys of domestic and international travel.
Although the volume of trips has not returned to pre-Covid levels, movement in 2022 has far eclipsed that of 2021, when much of the World experienced periods of national and regional “lockdown”.
For example, Australians made 4.99 million domestic commercial flights (including charter operations) in September 2022, compared to 1.3 million in September 2021 and 5.42 million in pre-Covid September 2019^.
Scheduled international flights for September 2022 were 2.096 million, some distance off pre-Covid levels of 3.497 million for the same month in 2019^^.
In this article, Experian has analysed consumer holiday trends and behaviours using its award-winning consumer classification tool, Mosaic and leveraged our property and market research partners to identify the latest travel trends in Australia, including destination popularity based on socio-economic group.
1. Domestic holiday destinations predicated on life stage and interests
When we started to explore the most popular domestic holiday destinations, we found that where consumers went depended largely on their life stage, interests and commitments.
For example, Mosaic Group G – Growing Independence, who favour longer holidays, prefer destinations such as Byron Bay in NSW. A classic backpackers destination, to take advantage of the surf and the nightlife.
Conversely, the wealthiest groups in Australia (Mosaic Group A – First Class Life) are regular travellers headed to areas like the wine regions of Orange and the Barossa Valley.
Families with teenage children (Mosaic Group E – Family Fringes) are visiting areas such as Port Douglas as an ideal base to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, spending quality time as a family unit.
Mount Wellington sees lots of young professionals, high spending couples (Mosaic Group C – Striving for Status) from Victoria as they get to experience nature and city life all in one.
Finally, younger blue-collar workers (Mosaic Group H – Middle Blue Collars) are enjoying a swim and a BBQ at the Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon.
2. Picturesque locations drive up inter-state travel
Certain locations are more popular for local holidaymakers than those from outside the State. For example, Orange (NSW), Blue Mountains (NSW) and Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon (QLD) are a big draw for local holidaymakers travelling from within the same State.
For out-of-State travel, travellers from Victoria are more likely to be seen in Mount Wellington (TAS) and Port Douglas (QLD) compared to NSW. Whereas, travellers from NSW are more likely to be seen in the Barossa Valley (SA) and Uluru (NT) compared to travellers from Victoria.
3. Millennials less interested in overseas travel
Trend data over time from our partner, Nielsen*, has identified that Millennial groups are reporting less interest in holidaying overseas (Mosaic Group F, G, C, in particular).
It is interesting that in the post-pandemic environment, Millennial groups are choosing to prioritise their time differently to their peers from the past. Changing attitudes towards education, less travelling, maintaining work-life balance from the outset, and the cost-of-living-crisis is most likely to be the catalyst.
Conversely, there has been increased interest amongst wealthier families (Mosaic Groups A and E) to make trips abroad.
During the Covid-19 pandemic there was little to no travel and the data is showing that those with the means to do so are travelling further.
4. Those with money and time are holidaying for longer
When we analysed holiday data for 2022 using Mosaic there were clear trends around the length of trip undertaken.
Those that travel for longer are far more likely to be the affluent (Mosaic Group A – First Class Life) or those with more time available such as Mosaic Group G – Growing Independence and and Mosaic Group D – Secure Tranquillity.
Those with external pressures, such as young families (Mosaic Groups B, I and J) are least likely to holiday for longer periods due to school holiday commitments and the costs involved.
5. Influencing media channels vary across classification groups
When we looked at consumer holiday trends such as how people were influenced to decide holiday destinations there were some interesting disparities.
Mosaic Groups G and C are far more likely to be influenced by imagery for holidaying, and television is a major contributor of where they consume this media, along with newspapers and magazines.
These groups are also more likely to decide their travel plans spontaneously and in the moment, rather than a long thorough planning process.
Our ‘First Class Life’ Group (Mosaic Group A) were more likely to find their travel inspiration in newspapers, magazines and take a more thorough approach when planning their holidays.
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|First Class Life
|Wealthiest group in Australia, typically older middle-aged families with significant assets and income.
|Gen X families with school-aged children, working in white-collar professions and living in suburban
|Striving for Status
|Young, successful, career-driven professionals living in central city areas with high income and no children.
|Affluent retirees living in higher valued properties in desirable areas.
|Middle-aged traditional families living on large outer suburban plots, with comfortable incomes and long commutes.
|Millennial first home buyers, living 10km+ from the city centre with above average income.
|Educated millennials at the start of their careers, renting apartments close to city centres.
|Younger blue-collar workers renting far from city centres, with below average income
|Average income traditional families & single parents with school-aged children living in outer suburban and regional locations.
|Blue-collar households in gainful employment, residing in locations across outer suburban, regional and mining towns.
|Gen X couples without children, renting apartments and terraces in high growth suburbs.
|Hardship & Perseverance
|Unemployed and blue-collar workers living in units and flats on low incomes.
|Older retirees with below average income, living in owned properties or retirement villages.
|Rural people working in agriculture, living on large plots of land far from main roads and main towns.
* Nielsen CMV Survey 5 2022