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How Aussies are travelling these school holidays

Australians are getting behind the call to travel, with a new study showing a big boost to domestic tourism during the September school holidays. 


Comparing travel demand for the September/October break with the June school holidays, the Amadeus Demand360 study deemed the Northern Territory by far “the most popular destination”, as NT saw a massive 139% increase in occupancy in the three weeks prior to the September holidays compared to June. 


Road tripping down under


Equally encouragingly, for the Sunshine State, Queensland also saw triple digit growth compared to the winter period, recording a 125% rise in booked occupancy in the three weeks leading up to the September holidays. 


South Australia experienced similarly promising occupancy levels for the same weeks, while booked occupancy in NSW grew 83% in the three weeks prior to the most recent school break. 


The figures released by Amadeus, a travel technology company, compared Australian holiday booking data between the June holiday period (21 June – 25 July) and September holiday period (13 September – 17 October). 


“Historically, following a major global crisis, airlines are the leading indicator for recovery. In the age of COVID-19, historical trends no longer apply as hotel occupancy and revenue change week by week. We are now seeing a phased recovery pattern, where domestic travel is coming back first, driven by different countries and states’ restrictions,” Amadeus APAC Head of Hospitality Maria Taylor said. 


The Demand360 data also showed a “significant change” in the booking window for accommodation since COVID-19, with the majority of bookings across all states falling within 0-7 days of travel, compared to the normal period of up to 28 days.


“Australian states and territories are all under different levels of restrictions and lockdowns which means travellers are waiting until the very last minute to make hotel reservations,” Taylor said.


“Travellers are more nervous and are taking the time to call the property directly or visit their website to find out about cleanliness, amenities and what to expect on site. 


“Hoteliers will need to tailor their recovery approach to domestic traveller needs, shorter booking windows and new booking channels.”


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 6 October 2020

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