Good news for regional hoteliers: Expedia group data reveals over 100% growth in demand from travellers heading off the beaten track
Data from the Expedia group, the world’s largest online travel company, has revealed a steady rise in domestic and international travellers who are becoming more adventurous and heading off the beaten track to explore Australia’s regional destinations.
Demand in key regional markets more than doubled during the first half of 2016 compared to same period last year. This contrasts with the slower growth rate for the top five major city markets in the same period. Although the overall demand in Australia’s large cities still outstrips demand in regions off the beaten track, the rapidly-increasing popularity of regional destinations is good news for hoteliers located outside the primary markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and the Gold Coast.
Regional Victoria experienced the highest increase in bookings at 140%, with North Queensland and regional New South Wales close behind at 130%. The strongest growth in the regions has been driven by Australian travellers, with domestic demand increasing by 110% year-on-year as Aussies explore their vast backyard.
Furthermore, booking windows for regional accommodation providers rose by 4.6 days from last year. Booking windows in primary markets increased by only 1.2 days. Again, regional Victoria outstripped the competition, with booking windows increasing by an impressive 8.4 days. Such longer booking windows also correlates with higher average daily room rates. For example, the ADR of a room booked 91+ days out was nearly 30% higher than a room booked with an arrival date less than a week away, resulting in higher revenue for our partners.
“With regional demand now increasing faster than demand in the top five major cities, the findings from this data are very positive for accommodation providers in regional Australia,” said Drew Bowering, Director Market Management, Expedia Australia. “We have been working with our partner hoteliers and destination marketing organisations across the country to increase travellers’ awareness of Australia’s scenic regions beyond our large cities, so we’re pleased to see such a strong growth in demand for adventurous travellers exploring the other areas of Australia.”
“Expedia helps regional hotel partners tap into global demand by marketing their hotels across 200+ travel booking sites across 75+ countries in more than 35 languages. In addition, hotel partners can maximise their revenue by accessing Expedia’s easy-to-use tools to gain real-time intelligence so they can target different travellers at different times. For example, a regional hotel partner may wish to target international travellers first as they tend to have longer booking windows and are prepared to pay more for a room. Hotels can then fill any remaining rooms with domestic travellers, who are keen to explore outside the major cities and are a bit more spontaneous in making their travel arrangements,” Mr Bowering explained.
Expedia’s tips for regional hoteliers to make their hotels standout from the crowd
- Offer package deals with pre-paid tickets to attractions
- Think mobile if you want to attract International travellers, particularly mobile savvy millenials
- Offer free Wi-Fi
- Use professional photos of local attractions on an OTA site to boost interest and drive bookings
- Highlight clearly where the property or a room is pet friendly or if it is ‘accessible’
- Promote unique features about the property