Britain has lost its place as one of the most popular Christmas destinations for Australians this year, according to travel search engine Skyscanner.com.au.
With the Australian dollar weakening in value against the British pound in 2015, it appears Aussies are now looking to enjoy some downtime closer to home.
The Skyscanner data, which looked at Australians searching for flights over the holiday season, revealed that the UK dropped three places to the 10th most popular country destination this year, surpassed by Fiji, Malaysia and Japan. All three of those have climbed in popularity.
Indonesia and New Zealand proved to be the most popular international destinations aside from the all-time favourite, Australia.
Popular international city destinations include Nadi, which moved up five places, as well as Honolulu and Tokyo, which moved up three and two places respectively. Auckland has also climbed to second place this year, with Denpasar in Bali maintaining its pole position from 2014.
On the domestic front, many Australians are looking to spend this Christmas or New Year reasonably close to home. This year saw Hamilton Island enter the top 10 domestic destinations list. Most local cities, other than Sydney and Melbourne, moved up by at least one notch, figures show.
Skyscanner says Aussies still looking for bargains could consider Bali and Auckland which in 2014 still offered good value flights in the run up to Christmas.
“With the Aussie dollar still relatively strong against both these currencies, travellers could maximise their savings to these destinations, this festive season.”
Many travellers leave it to the last minute, as with all Christmas shopping. Last year, search data revealed that 17% of Australians using Skyscanner were still searching for domestic flights during the week of Christmas, potentially paying around 25% more than the average fare price for the year.
Senior marketing manager, Oceania Skyscanner, Emily Callahan, said: “The Christmas and year-end period is always a popular time to travel as it’s the best time to take a break, wind-down from the year, celebrate the festivities or catch up with loved ones at home. As flight fares tend to fluctuate due to sophisticated price management systems, it is best not to leave booking to the last minute.
“Whether travellers are looking to travel domestically or internationally this year end, subscribing to Skyscanner price alerts will help to monitor fares so that you can book your flights when the price drops. Searching by ‘Whole Month’ view will also help you easily identify the cheapest day to fly, so that travellers can get the best deal.”
Edited by Peter Needham