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Happy holidays: who’s going where?

November 14, 2013 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Last month we reported that 35% of Australians had gone more than a year without a holiday, a consequence of post-GFC budgetary caution. However, most of us are still travelling: in the last 12 months, 59% of Australians took a domestic holiday and 23% went overseas. Question is, who’s going where? Roy Morgan’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, reveals some interesting travel trends…

Domestic getaways

With the exception of Savvy Self-starters, people who fall within affluent Helix Community* Leading Lifestyles are more likely than the average Aussie to have taken a domestic holiday in the last year. The Personas* most likely to have done so areBluechips (75%) and Successful Bureaucrats (73%) — with their destination preferences revealing some key differences.

High-flying Bluechips’ love of fine wine and dining means that 25% of them name the Hunter Valley as a preferred destination. Other favourites include the Blue Mountains (22%), Melbourne (23%) and NSW ski hot-spots such as Thredbo and Perisher (15%).

Leading Lifestyles: took a domestic holiday in last 12 months (by Persona)


Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source, October 2012 September 2013n=4,519. Base: Leading Lifestyles aged 14+

Cultural centres Melbourne (30%) and Sydney (24%) appeal to well-educated and socially aware Successful Bureaucrats. They’re fond of beach breaks, too, with 15% choosing coastal locations like Merimbula and Gerringong.

Similarly well off and upwardly mobile, the Metrotech Community also loves to travel. Social Flyers are the Metrotech Persona most likely to take an Aussie holiday (73%), and have a distinct liking for urban destinations that offer cultural experiences and entertainment opportunities: Melbourne (26%), Sydney (20%), Hobart (14%) and Brisbane (12%).

Distant shores

Go to any international airport departure lounge, and you’re sure to find a disproportionate amount of Metrotechs waiting to jet off overseas: most likely New School Cool (45% of whom holidayed overseas in the last year), Social Academic (also 45%) andYoung and Platinum (44%). It’s no coincidence that each of these Personas is far likelier than the average Australian to agree that ‘It only feels like a holiday if I leave Australia’.

Metrotechs: took an overseas holiday in last 12 months (by Persona)


Source: Roy Morgan Research Single Source, October 2012 September 2013n=2,289. Base: Metrotechs aged 14+

The US tops the list for all three Personas (equal top with New Zealand for Social Academics at 19%). England and New Zealand are also consistently favoured destinations, but where New School Cool name Thailand (11%) as one of their top five preferences, Young and Platinums opt for Mexico/Latin America (12%) and Social Academics are torn between Italy (16%) and Japan (15%).

* Helix Communities: seven major segments of the Australian population, defined using a combination of ABS Census data, 3rd-party data, Roy Morgan Single Source and Values Segments.

* Helix Personas: 56 distinct groups that fall within these communities, classifying Australian consumers across a variety of attributes to provide a holistic and in-depth view of customers that transcends standard geo-demographics to incorporate attitudes, values and behavioural aspects.

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

“Though Metrotechs and Leading Lifestyles are both wealthy communities with the financial means to take holidays pretty much wherever they wish, they differ in terms of their preferred destinations. Even between apparently similar personas within each community, there are marked differences in destination preferences. 

“Metrotech individuals tend to be passionate about overseas travel, with some preferred countries in common and others varying quite dramatically between personas. Leading Lifestyles, while also keen international travellers, are especially likely to have taken a holiday within Australia over the last year – with favoured holiday spots again varying widely between personas. 

“Of course, holidays aren’t just the privilege of the upwardly mobile: low-income personas such as Rural Rewards and Back to Nature (from the more mature Golden Years community) and Penny Wise (from the cash-strapped Battlers community) are also more likely than the average Aussie to have taken a domestic holiday in the last 12 months; while Done Good (from the Average Aussie community) and New Australians (Getting Byare more likely to have holidayed overseas. 

“The unprecedented depth of knowledge that Helix Personas can provide is invaluable for destination marketers and tourism agencies looking to pin-point precisely who their existing and potential markets are — and how they differ beneath their superficially similar surfaces.

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