Newly released data has revealed how Australian international beach holiday booking patterns have changed, with Fiji and Bali heading in opposite directions.
According to research by GfK ForwardKeys, air bookings for Bali over the next six months have fallen a whopping 24 percent compared to the same period the year before.
“Unfortunately Bali has gone from bad to worse. Looking back 6 months, Australian arrivals were only down 13% on last year compared to the 24% drop in current booking arrivals for the next 6 months,” GfK ForwardKeys account manager David Beliveau said.
“This is likely influenced by the recent airline cancellations caused by the volcanic eruptions in July this year.”
Elsewhere, Phuket experienced a double-digit decrease in forward bookings of 10 percent, while bookings to Honolulu are down to two percent, which was however an improvement on the 13 percent fall in bookings to Hawaii for the previous six months.
“Although the AUD is still not favourable against the USD, this appears to have had little impact from further deterring Australians from travelling to Honolulu,” Beliveau said.
The real winner over the next six months is Fiji, whose forward bookings have grown a healthy six percent. Interestingly, while two person bookings are down slightly (4%), four person bookings are up by nearly 20 percent.
“This could suggest a change in perception as more Australians see Fiji as a family destination rather than a couples retreat,” said Beliveau.
Although Fiji has grown on last year, Australians still tend to spend less time there, most likely due to its relative proximity to the majority of Aussie travellers.
GfK ForwardKeys measured forward flight bookings for the period beginning October 2015 to end-March 2016. Its data does not include direct airline sales, low cost carrier data or charter flights.
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