Take Control Of Your Customers

May 11, 2021

Good signs ahead as Australian’s intent to travel for a holiday in droves within the next 12months.

Domestic travel looks set for a major comeback post-pandemic with 60% of respondents to a recent SMP Survey of more than 1000 Australians declaring an intention to travel for a holiday within their own state in the next twelve months.

When generalised to the wider population, this equates to approximately 9.3 million Australians aged 18 years and over intending to take a holiday intrastate.

Cross border travel is also set for a win with just under half of those surveyed (47%) saying they intend to travel interstate in the year ahead meaning some 7.3 million Australians are currently thinking about planning where to travel domestically.

There are also promising signs for a return to international travel.

Respondents to the survey indicated if allowed to travel overseas for a holiday, 24% said they would choose air travel to their destination with 10% electing for an ocean cruise in the next twelve months.

This would equate to 3.7 million Australians wanting to travel overseas by air on a holiday and 1.5 million Australians returning to the water, putting pent up demand ahead of the number of Australians who cruised in the record-setting year of 2018 (1.34 million ref: Cruise Lines International Association Australasia source market report).

While this survey is based on consumer intention, there is a confidence that subject to state borders remaining open and Australia’s international border opening up in greater capacity then travel is on the cards for close to ten million Australians.

This would be a big win for industry too with billions of dollars transacted right throughout the economy and bringing much needed reprieve to struggling sectors decimated by the impact COVID-19 has had.

In a win for public spaces, 32% of respondents said they intended to visit a museum or an art gallery while 25% said they would attend a concert or music festival.

Curiously, 22% of respondents remained uncommitted to travel intent suggesting that 3.5 million Australians require further convincing.

Around three and a half million Australians still remain unconvinced of travel over the next twelve months which represents a large potential segment of the market with implications for travel marketers.

Understanding this segment of fence-sitters to identify what is holding them up and which brands or types of holidays would see them commit would be something that further research can discover and be an invaluable resource to marketers seeking to capture more demand to rebound strongly. 

The study also captured respondent characteristics and demographics with males (60%) more likely to travel overseas by air than females (40%) as well as taking a cruise (62% male versus 38% female).

Does this suggest that travel marketers need to revisit their traditional approach to marketing that centres primarily on women as the decision makers for holiday consideration, planning and decision making? If circumstances are such that males are more inclined towards a holiday then would it not makes sense that advertising for instances is skewed to men that are more predisposed to booking?

People between 18 and 39 years of age were most inclined to return to concerts, music festivals and cultural events such as Vivid, Adelaide Fringe Festival or the Darwin Festival.

Respondents reporting an income of more than $200,000 annually were the highest group intending to travel overseas by air travel with the research capturing other key financial and demographic data.

Disposable incomes are a determining factor to how, where and what the market choose to consume and those brands that are positioned well to capture the demand from high-income earners will reap the benefits when travel can resume safely.

When viewed by state and territory, NSW respondents were most likely to opt for an ocean cruise and a cultural event and those living in the ACT were highest with intent to travel interstate for a holiday.

Knowing your customer, therefore, remains important particularly as some of their buying behaviour has been shaped given the circumstances of the past year. When will they book, how will they book and what promotions and marketing will they respond to will be questions once more that travel marketers will need to understand.

Enterprise Marketing has recently rolled out a new customer engagement tool that in addition to serving branded communications also acts as a means of capturing enquiries and is Google search friendly.

You can learn more about Embrace Interactive here.

Christian Schweitzer/strategic partnerships manager

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