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Asian-born Australians heading overseas for holidays

May 3, 2014 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Is Australia part of Asia? Geographically, we’re in the vicinity, but as the recent Royal tour made abundantly clear, many of us are still flag-flying monarchists. While the answer to this question will probably never be universally agreed upon, one thing is undeniable: a sizeable chunk of the Australian population (7.4% or more than 1.4 million people) was born in Asia. What’s more, in worrying news for the domestic tourism industry, they’re more likely to take overseas holidays than the average Australian.

Whereas 24% of the total population aged 14+ took an overseas holiday in the last 12 months, 38% of Asian-born Australians (or 533,000 people) did the same, the latest Roy Morgan Single Source Survey shows. Their most popular international destinations were India, China, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

In contrast, Asian-born Aussies are less likely than the average Australian to have taken a holiday in Australia over the last 12 months (44% versus 60%).

Domestic or overseas? The holiday habits of Asian-born Australians vs total population


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2013 – March 2014, n = 17,773.

Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With an increasing percentage of Australians being born in Asia, it is concerning for the domestic tourism industry that this group is much more likely than the average Australian to holiday overseas and much less likely to holiday in Australia.

“The fact that their most popular destinations are Asian countries suggests that they are using their holidays to visit their relatives (just as Aussies born in North America are more likely to holiday in the US and those born in the UK are more likely to holiday in the UK). Family ties can be a powerful motivator when it comes to travel.

“However, some Asian-born Australians are still taking domestic holidays and Roy Morgan Research’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist marketers to refine their search for these people.

“For instance, while a quarter of the people from the Social Flyers persona are born in Asia, this segment is also more likely than average to have taken a holiday in Australia over the last 12 months (71% versus 60% of the total population). Social Flyers are typically young, single, social and fashionable inner-city renters who lead a hectic and high-flying lifestyle. 

“The domestic holiday destinations that particularly appeal to them include Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, and Sydney.”

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