More than half of Australian holidaymakers booked at least one hotel as part of an upcoming domestic trip as the nation rallies to support the industry’s call to ‘Holiday Here This Year’ and help regional hoteliers return to prosperity.
The encouraging data was extrapolated from research commissioned by online travel giant, Expedia, and conducted by research firm BVA BDRC. The study polled 1,162 Expedia customers immediately after booking flights within or to Australia, with a consumer research panel also conducted using Australian domestic travellers who did not fly as part of their last holiday.
Further results showed two-thirds of those surveyed used an online travel agent (OTA) to research travel products, with half using an OTA to search for hotels and conduct research on their trip. The study bolstered the research and inspiration credentials of OTAs in general, with more than two in five of those who did their research via an OTA still booked directly with their chosen property, however stayed an average of 4.9 nights as opposed to OTA customers, who stayed 5.8 nights on average and spent $289 more on accommodation per trip.
Australian travellers were opting to spend up on local produce and experiences as part of their domestic holidays, with the research finding a greater tendency to book small, locally-run accommodation as opposed to major brands. Spending on local activities and meals in local restaurants was also found to be higher.
Expedia Group Senior Director of Market Management, Drew Bowering, said the results presented invaluable opportunities for hotels to adjust their marketing to domestic markets and fill gaps left by overseas visitors in the wake of Australia’s summer of bushfires, extreme weather and now as the world struggles to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Understandably, Australians are being cautious in making their travel plans during this period and we can expect more domestic bookings with shorter booking lead times,” Bowering said.
“Partners can factor this into their sales strategy and look to offer more value-added services to drive higher conversion.”