In the wet, chilly lead up to winter this year, nearly half of the Australian population shared a similar thought… HOLIDAYS!
Just over 11 million Australians visited a travel related website in May 2015, the highest unique audience ever recorded for the travel industry. And, when it comes to who’s doing research and booking the next trip, it’s a line in the sun-soaked sand between genders – an even 50/50 male to female split.
6.6 million Australians aged over 14, plan to travel domestically in the next six months and 5.9 million are looking to head overseas in the next 12 months. QLD is the top planned destination for domestic travel intenders (23%), while Europe tops the wish list for overseas travel intenders (29%).
Looking at how this translates into travel related online activity, close to two-thirds (63%) of those who intend to travel domestically or locally in the next 6-12 months have visited a travel website in the past month.
The airline category is a star performer online, growing its unique audience by an additional 664,000 people compared to May 2014. The top three airline sites all grew their unique audiences during this period; Qantas (+510,000), Virgin Australia (+121,000) and Jetstar (+72,000).
The hotel directories category engaged an additional 559,000 people compared to May 2014. Booking.com grew the most year on year with an extra 314,000 people followed by Stayz Websites (+143,000) and Agoda (+125,000).
The travel information category also received a boost with 443,000 more people, helped by Google Maps up 4% year on year with an additional 218,000 people visiting the site, LuxuryEscapes up 149,000 and Australian Business Traveller with an additional 121,000 people. 31% of travel intenders visited Google Maps in the past month and over 1.2 million travel intenders visited TripAdvisor.
Not surprisingly, there is a strong link between searching on both flight and accommodation websites.Close to two in five people (37%) who visited Booking.com or Wotif.com (38%) also visited the Qantas website and 31% of Australians who visited Stayz Websites also visited Virgin Australia.
Aussies also love a frequent flyer membership program with 55% of Australians aged over 14 now part of a program.