As the country gears up for ‘the race that stops the nation’, Melbourne Cup, new research from booking site HotelClub.com has revealed that women are ditching hopes of romance at the races to focus on fun, friendship and fashion. HotelClub.com, the booking site that offers travellers a more extraordinary way to stay across 7,400 cities and 141 countries, has seen a 30% increase in Melbourne hotel bookings for race week*. In advance of the big day, the site asked over 1,000 Australians to share their thoughts on priorities and spending habits around Carnival Races such as Melbourne Cup Day.
For women, the top priority for race day was socialising with friends – with over half (59%) reporting this as their biggest priority, followed by a general interest in the sport (13%) and fashion as their third priority (11%). Sadly for potential suitors, dating opportunities were their lowest priority, with only 2.2% giving it any thought.
Socialising was also men’s top priority (41%) with a general interest second (22%), however men named betting as their third biggest priority at the races (18%). Perhaps unsurprisingly given women’s interest in fashion and style, chancing their luck on love was still on men’s agendas for the day – 4.4% reported that they would be on the look out for a date during the day. These chances may however be hindered by the fact that race fashion was men’s lowest reported priority for the day (2.2%).
HotelClub.com Head of Brand Marketing Kari Taylor commented,
“Whether it’s with our friends or work colleagues, each year the Melbourne Cup proves to be a much-anticipated showstopper, and this year is no different. With Melbourne hotel bookings up across the site, we wanted to dig a little bit deeper into the occasion and the results have been fascinating.
“It seems that men doth protest a little too much when it comes to fashion at the races. For years people have thought that it’s just the ladies that go all-out for fashion, but our research has revealed that men are actually spending more on outfits and grooming than women, despite it being a ‘low priority’.
“But if they’re spending money in the hope of scoring love, unfortunately it looks as if they won’t find it at the races, as women told us that they see race day as a great chance to catch up with friends and have fun in the process. Sorry to break it to you gentlemen!” concluded Taylor.
THE TEN MOST POPULAR HOTELS IN MELBOURNE FOR MELBOURNE CUP WEEK
– according to HotelClub.com booking data (19.10.15):
1. Jasper Hotel Melbourne
2. Nova StarGate Apartment Hotel Melbourne
3. BEST WESTERN Atlantis Hotel
4. Crown Metropol Melbourne
5. Travelodge Hotel Southbank Melbourne
6. Grand Hotel Melbourne – MGallery Collection
7. PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport
8. Stamford Plaza Melbourne
9. Punthill Little Bourke Apartments Melbourne
10. Oaks On Lonsdale
RACE PREPARATION: OUTFITS, ACCESSORIES AND GROOMING
Of those anticipating to splash out on fashion this year, four out of five women (80.5%) will spend up to $200 on their outfits, along with 77% of men. Nearly one in five women (19.5%) and nearly a quarter of men (23%) will spend upwards of $200.
Over two in five women will be spending on accessories for the day, such as hats bags and fascinators. Of these, nearly two-thirds (63%) anticipate spending up to $100 and 86% anywhere up to $200. Just over one in ten women will blow upwards of $200 on accessories.
In contrast, an overwhelming 70% of men said they would not spend on accessories (such as ties, cuff-links and shoes) for the day. However, for those men that do anticipate spending, 60% will spend up to $100, with three quarters (76%) spending up to $200. One in five men spending even expect to hand over $200 for accessories for race day
When it came to grooming or styling for the day (such as haircuts, hairstyling, make-up, shaving etc), of those two in five (39%) of Australians spending, 91% of women and 87% of men anticipate spending up to $200. Perhaps surprisingly, once more men are predicted to spend more – 13% of men will spend upwards of $200, compared with 9% of women.
STARTERS ORDERS: TRAVEL & ACCOMODATION
Before arriving at the races however, of those expecting to spend money on travel and accommodation, three quarters (75%) of Australians anticipate spending up to $200 on travel (be it flights or taxis) and three in five (61%) would expect to spend up to $200 on accommodation for their visit. Two in five Australians (39%) would expect to spend upwards of $200 on their stay.
AND THEY’RE OFF!: RACE DAY SPENDING
When it comes to betting, males and females across the country were unanimous in their spending, with 50.5% of males and 50.2% prepared to wage bets on the day. Women will however spend less on betting during the event than men – 43.4% of women preparing to bet will spend up to $200 compared with 38% of men.
In addition, just 6.4% of women are prepared to bet between $200 and $500, compared with 10.2% of men. Taking even bigger chances, 1.4% of Australian men expect to spend over $500 on betting during the day.
70% of Australians will spend up to $100 on food and drink during the day, with 90% prepared to spend up to $200 each. Just one in ten (10%) would splash out more here.