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Aussies To Save $270m On Flights To Asia Pacific

May 4, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

More Australians than ever are searching for getaways according to the Cheapflights Compass 2017 report, which revealed the most popular and affordable hot spots for local travel lovers, along with the best ways to save this year.

Conducted by Cheapflights.com.au, this, the second annual Cheapflights Compass, analysed over 13.5 million searches – almost eight years’ collective search time per month (that’s two more years than in 2016 and a 42 per cent increase in total searches!) – to uncover how Aussies can save time and money when booking their next trip to Asia Pacific, and new for 2017, favourite long haul destinations in Europe, the US and beyond.

The leading global flight search and travel deals platform found fares to the Asia Pacific region are 12 per cent cheaper year-on-year, with Indonesia retaining its #1 ranking across both popularity and cost. Here, an average return airfare is just $528 (a decrease of approximately $60 from last year) and one in ten (14 per cent) Aussie flight searches in the region were to Bali.

While India (13 per cent of searches), Thailand (11 per cent) and China (10 per cent) are hot on Indonesia’s heels for the popularity prize, Malaysia ($550), Singapore ($556) and Fiji ($634) are the next most affordable countries – knocking last year’s place-getters, Thailand and Philippines, out to fifth and eleventh respectively.

Nathan Graham, Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, said that while affordable flights to new cities in already beloved destinations will lure locals over the year ahead, China is a destination to watch.

“Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing all feature in the top 30 most popular and cheapest Asian destinations (under $729), and the country is already Sydney’s number one most searched country in Asia Pacific. With increasing business and trade deals encouraging reciprocal travel with more flights and cheaper airfares, the number of Aussies visiting this Asian giant will take off,” he said.

“Our research also revealed some amazing opportunities for savvy locals to save while exploring both easy-toreach and culturally rich destinations. For example, flying to Ho Chi Minh City instead of Hanoi in Vietnam can save $132 on average, and skipping French Polynesia ($2,316) to head to New Caledonia could mean an extra $1,500 in spending money – that’s a lot of baguettes.

“With flights around 12 per cent cheaper on average this year, we estimate that Aussies could save up to a quarter of a billion dollars on their travels in 2017 if they search smartly,” said Mr Graham.

Beyond Asia Pacific, the Cheapflights Compass also examined top long haul ports and found:

• London keeps calling and with direct flights available from Perth early next year, it could be the new Dubai, as Aussies combine a Perth stop-over with a European holiday.

• Vancouver put Canada on the map, coming in at number five on the most popular long haul destination list (after London, Los Angeles, New York and Paris), possibly fueled by the positive media coverage around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

• Berlin retains its European hipster haven crown, being the seventh most searched for long haul destination. Unfortunately, it was also the continent’s most expensive place to fly to in Europe, along with Barcelona ($1,529 and $1,536 respectively).

• Aussies are driving a December and January peak for long haul travel, with secondary spikes in June and July as locals head to the Northern Hemisphere to escape winter.

Searching closer to home, the report also revealed:

• Crossing the Tasman remains one of the most travelled routes with the major cities being both popular and affordable – average return airfares costing less than $430.

• Melbourne is the most popular domestic destination, ahead of Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, confirming that Aussies love good food, coffee and culture.

• Melbourne and Sydney are also the most affordable cities (both under $260), but swapping Brisbane for the Gold Coast could save $44 per person.

Nathan Graham said that along with smart city swaps, the Cheapflights Compass revealed key tips for searchers.

“Whether you’re looking for a getaway in Oz, Asia Pacific, or far flung countries, the day of the week you choose to search increasingly has very little effect on airfares (prices vary by less than one per cent across the week). However, the day you choose to depart and how far in advance you book both have a much bigger impact on price.

“Travelling on a Tuesday is up to eight per cent cheaper than departing on a Friday – and gone are the days of cheap last-minute deals, as booking less than a week in advance could cost you up to 13 per cent more for a domestic flight, eight per cent to cross the ditch, and 17 per cent more on international airfares. Generally speaking, three months in advance is the sweet spot for finding the best price.”

To find out more, see the full Cheapflights Compass report, or visit Cheapflights.com.au to search your next holiday.

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