A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trend towards short trips and late bookings

Even though the tourism industry was hoping that domestic tourism would increase due to EGC, it seems both international and domestic tourism have suffered a blow.

What has increased is a trend towards short trips and late bookings which has been confirmed by online travel booking sites.

-Australians took fewer trips to other parts of the country for their holidays in the last three months of the year, with latest figures showing a sharper drop than expected.

-The National Visitor Survey figures will dash any hopes that the tourism industry has that domestic visitation will make up for the sharp fall in the number of overseas visitors to Australia.

-Cash strapped Aussies are already reining in their international travel and tourism observers were hoping that domestic travel would pick up the slack. A spokesman for peak national body Tourism & Transport Forum said: "We had really been hoping these figures would be better but clearly Australians are staying at home more than we thought."

-One bright spark for the travel sector is the Easter holidays, with airlines and travel sites reporting that advance bookings are on par with, and in some cases higher than, last year's figures.Despite predictions Australians would resort to domestic travel in the current economic climate, short international trips are proving popular for the Easter break.

-The trend towards short trips and late bookings was confirmed by online travel booking sites.

-Travel.com.au general manager Lisa Ferrari said its bookings for Easter were up 25 per cent on the same time last year. The site had noticed a particular spike in bookings for Bali, but also New Zealand and Fiji. Ferrari attributed the growth in Easter bookings to a combination of factors, including the Government's stimulus package, lower interest rates and petrol prices, increased competition and travel products marketed specifically to the Australian market.

-Angie Bohlmann of lastminute.com.au said bookings in February had increased 24 per cent compared with the same time last year and Australians were booking trips both internationally and domestically for Easter, with Los Angeles, London and Bali among the top destinations. Wotif.com's general manager Megan Magill said bookings were on par with the same time last year.

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