Skip to main content

Holiday booking volumes among business travellers is expected to be 42 per cent higher this Easter than last Easter, with almost half (47%) of travellers taking off on the Wednesday before Easter and more than a third (37%) starting their holidays on the Thursday. The growth in bookings and trend towards earlier departures highlight an increased appetite for bleisure travel and an increased confidence in travel overall.

The forecast comes from Corporate Traveller, the flagship SME division of Flight Centre Travel Group, which compared flight and hotel bookings from Wednesday 27 to Easter Sunday 30 March to Wednesday 5 to Easter Sunday 9 April in 2023. Between the two time periods, bookings have already grown 29 per cent this year, with Corporate Traveller forecasting a total increase of 42 per cent by 27 March.

The Easter long weekend is arguably the busiest travel period after Christmas. Australians are expected to spend $9.6 billion on domestic and international travel this Easter, a $500 million increase in travel spend during Easter last year. This comes as aviation firefighters announce a postponement to industrial action that was threatening chaos at airports over the Easter break.

Corporate Traveller’s analysis of flight bookings found that 47 per cent of bookings over the five-day period this Easter were made for Wednesday, 27 March – two days before the start of the Easter long weekend. Bookings for Thursday, 28 March, were also high (at 37%), before a sharp decline on Good Friday (8% of bookings) through to Easter Sunday.

Brisbane tops Easter destinations in 2024

This year, Brisbane is surpassing Sydney and Melbourne as the top destination this Easter, with 46 per cent more travellers visiting there than Melbourne, and 50 per cent more than Sydney. In 2023, Sydney was the most popular Easter destination, with Brisbane and Melbourne in equal second.

Not only are almost half of business travellers starting their holiday on Wednesday, they are also preferring Queensland’s capital city over nearby coastal destinations. These findings point to potential bleisure trend this year. Brisbane’s proximity to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast – just an hour away – means professionals can easily switch from work mode to enjoying leisure activities with family, including world class beaches and theme parks, or simply remain in the city to enjoy all Brisbane has to offer.

New Zealand cities dominate international Easter destinations

Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington have emerged as the top international destinations, showing a clear preference for shorter international trips on the long weekend. New Zealand’s proximity to Australia makes it an ideal destination for maximising the limited time available on a long weekend by reducing time spent in the air and avoiding jetlag associated with destinations further afield.

The 2023 Easter long weekend saw longer-haul destinations appearing in the top three, with London was the third most popular spot behind Auckland and Singapore.

Tom Walley, Corporate Traveller’s Australian-based Global Managing Director, says: “This year has seen a remarkable increase in the number of corporate trips being planned around the Easter break. It underscores the value of blending work travel with holidays to save on travel costs while still being able to enjoy time away from work with friends and family. With many household budgets under strain, bleisure travel works well for those who might not have the money for discretionary holiday spending.

“Brisbane, being the top choice for corporate travellers this year, has much to offer in events, retail and in its proximity to the theme parks and beaches of the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. For international destinations, Auckland has been the top choice for the past two years. Auckland experiences its best weather at this time of year, making it a perfect time to visit.”