TRA flags consumer behaviour pattern shift

Austrade resources for tourism businesses to capitalise on expected domestic uptick

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) has released a number of new resources aimed at assisting Australian tourism companies to adapt their businesses to better operate in the “difficult environment” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to “better understand the challenges ahead”.

The resources include Domestic Visitor Profiles designed to help businesses target specific market segments and tailor their tourism offerings; an analysis of the role of domestic travel in Australia’s tourism recovery; and a link to where businesses can obtain further information on coronavirus support.

Domestic visitor profiles

TRA says that due to overseas travel restrictions the tourism industry recovery is likely to be led by the domestic sector, and a variety of opportunities are available for operators to target “home-grown visitors”.

Twenty-two profiles have been identified to help operators understand the needs of the diverse domestic market, focused on different demographics and activities of domestic overnight visitors. They are divided into two parts: 12 profiles based on the type of visitor and what they want to do, and 10 profiles based on visitor activities.

The targeted profiles focus on business travellers, family groups, adult couples, solo travellers, short-stay visitors, long-stay visitors, VFR, youth visitors, older non-working visitors, holiday visitors using flights, recent migrants, and camping and caravanning

The destination profiles span beaches, national parks, arts and culture, zoos and aquariums, wineries, cycling, shopping, fishing and golf, festivals, and luxury travel.

According to the profile overview, Australian domestic luxury travel was valued at $28.1 billion dollars in 2019, and $827 per night. Around 13% of domestic overnight stays were in the luxury segment last year, and interstate travel represented 61% of trips, staying an average of 2.5 nights. Nearly two-thirds of luxury travellers lived in capital cities.

Two-thirds of luxury travel was in a capital city, with 32% in NSW and 25% in Victoria. More than 90% of trips were to just one destination. View TRA’s full luxury travel profile here.

Moving Forward report

A 12-page report by Tourism Research Australia addresses the opportunities that lie ahead for the domestic tourism market, pending the gradual resumption of interstate travel when state borders fully reopen.

“A domestic-led recovery also includes the possibility of converting some people who had been considering overseas travel into domestic tourists,” the Moving Forward: The Role of Domestic Travel in Australia’s Tourism Recovery report says.

However, domestic trips taken by Australians tend to be shorter in duration, lower yield and involve fewer activities than those of international travellers.

“Consumer behaviour patterns are also likely to be different as a result of COVID-19. People are likely to be more concerned about personal hygiene and safety. This will retard the resumption of all kinds of travel, and people may be more reluctant to undertake some of the activities they did before,” TRA warns.

The level of spend is significantly less on a domestic holiday compared to a trip abroad, with TRA reporting the average domestic overnight trip is less than four nights and costs under $700, incomparable to a “typical” overseas trip that spans 18 nights and costs $6,500.

The report also says Australians are avid international holidaymakers, and they may “hold out for an overseas experience if they think the option will arise soon”.

The Moving Forward report provides information on aviation, accommodation, tourism workforce, arts and recreation, tour operators and cruise travel and some of the obstacles for the return of international travel, which faces a “slow and gradual recovery”, with Australia’s remote distance meaning it will be comparatively expensive to access. Outbound travel from Australia is expected to recover faster.

View the full study here.

Coronavirus information and support for business

The other resource offers details on where to obtain information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support for Australian businesses, accessed online here – business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business

Photos courtesy of Tourism Australia.

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