It also appears a weaker Australian dollar and resurgence in domestic travel are not deterring Australian travellers from travelling overseas or aspiring to travel overseas, according to Expedia.com.au‘s annual ‘State of the Nation’ report which was released today.
In fact, three quarters (73%) of Aussies who have ever been overseas intend to travel again in the next 12 months. Of the travellers who have not travelled overseas in the last two years, 44% are planning a trip in the next two years. This trend is reflected in Expedia data, where demand for both domestic and international is growing year-on-year.
Whether it’s written on a piece of paper, saved in their phone or etched firmly in their imagination, almost every Australian (97%) says they have a Travel Bucket List, listing the destinations they want to visit in the next five years. And, Aussies clearly don’t have a list just to dream about travel – 92% have crossed at least one travel experience off their bucket list, up on the 2014 result of 87%, suggesting this trend is accelerating
When looking at the top factors considered in selecting what they tick off their bucket list, 9 in 10 Aussies (93%) see a unique cultural experience as the most important aspect. Potentially challenging the status quo somewhat, unique cultural experiences are particularly important for the younger generation aged between 18-24 (98%). Next in order of importance is being able to disconnect from everyday life (92%), with 94% of capital-city dwellers citing this as important versus 89% of Aussies based in regional areas. This was followed closely by seeking pristine natural environments (91%).
The most popular international destinations featuring on Australians’ bucket lists are predominantly perennial long-haul favourites across North America and Europe though New Zealand, with its pristine natural beauty, also ranked highly.
When it comes to domestic destinations, the sights and sounds of the capital cities dominate. However, Australians also want to experience the iconic destinations that attract tourists from around the world, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Central Australia. Tasmania, known for its rugged wilderness, progressive dining and cutting-edge art is also gaining in popularity.
Bucket lists are not just for destinations. More than 8 in 10 (86%) Australian travellers also have a number of special experiences on their bucket list. Nearly a third of Aussies would like to visit one or more of the Seven Wonders of the World (30%); followed closely by seeing the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis (29%); holidaying like a VIP in luxury (28%); visiting the Artic or Antarctic (26%); and taking a luxury cruise (26%).
Top activities Australians have already crossed off their bucket lists include visiting a major theme park (51%) such as Disneyland, Alton Towers or Wet ‘n’ Wild, seeing snow at Christmas (32%) and attending a major sporting event (24%).
Deeply patriotic, visiting a site of historical significance, such as Gallipoli, is another key experience at the top of Australians’ bucket lists. Two in five (39%) of Australians say they have ticked this experience off their bucket list, up 5% on the 2014 results, perhaps as a result of the ANZAC Centenary in April this year.
The rise of visual social media platforms like Instagram, as well as the enhanced photo capabilities of smartphones, has led to 85% of respondents stating the opportunity for great photo opportunities was a key driver when choosing a destination. This trend is further mirrored by over half (56%) choosing digital cameras as a travel essential, compared to other travelling features such as WiFi (47% felt it was essential), travel apps (25%) and tablets (23%).
Despite the initial hype, Australians are yet to embrace selfie-sticks with only 7% deeming them a travel essential.