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Most popular holiday activities revealed by state

November 14, 2016 Headline News No Comments Print Print Email Email

egtmedia59Bush-walking, visiting museums, swimming, surfing or shopping – what are the popular holiday activities for Australians?

According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, more people went bush-walking than visited museums on their last Australian getaway, and shopping was a more popular holiday activity than swimming/surfing.

As of September 2016, 10.7 million Australians reported that their last holiday was domestic. Almost half overall (49.4%) visited friends and/or relatives during their trip, although this rose to 52.6% of people whose last holiday was in New South Wales, and fell to 42.9% of those who visited Tasmania.

Wining and dining was the second-most popular domestic-holiday activity (23.4%), with differences depending on the destination. This time, Tasmania heads the list, with 39.1% of holiday-goers dining at restaurants, having a vino or two, and no doubt enjoying the fresh local produce the Apple Isle is renowned for. Surprisingly, only one in five people whose last holiday was in NSW did the same.

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Some 23.2% of domestic holiday-goers went shopping (not surprisingly, Victoria is above average for this particular activity, with 27.1% of folks who went there on their last trip hitting the shops), and 18.1% took in some country scenery and/or went wildlife spotting (a percentage that shoots up to 33.2% of visitors to Tasmania, and falls to 16.7% of those who went to NSW).

Given Australia’s plethora of world-famous coastal destinations, it’s curious that only 17.7% of domestic holiday-goers overall went swimming and/or surfing on their last trip. However, this figure does rise among people whose last holiday was in Queensland – 25.6% of whom went swimming/surfing, compared with just 10.9% of those who visited Victoria.

Tasmania is the top spot for culture: 31.6% of people who took their last holiday there went to a museum (compared with 11.2% of all domestic holiday-goers) and 22.7% went to an art gallery (compared with 7.8%). Of course, popular Hobart tourist attraction MONA – the Museum of Old and New Art – can be classified as either a museum or gallery, so it’s likely that this is driving these high figures.  Given that MONA opened in 2011, it is worth pointing out that visitors to Tassie were much less likely to go to a museum (12.2%) or art gallery (8.1%) in 2010 than they are now.

Commenting on the latest findings, Roy Morgan Research’s industry communications director, Norman Morris, said that nearly 11 million Australians took a short or long break somewhere in Australia between October 2015 and September 2016, “generating endless opportunities for tourism operators, destination marketers and local businesses.

“Although visiting family and friends is the most popular activity among domestic holiday-goers, wining and dining, shopping, taking in the scenery/countryside/wildlife and swimming/surfing are also high on the agenda.

“But as the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research confirm, holiday activities can vary dramatically depending on the destination. As we have seen, visitors to Tasmania are more likely than those who went to other destinations to go to museums and eat out during their trip. The Northern Territory, on the other hand, attracts the country’s highest proportions of bushwalkers, National Park visitors and people going to historical places.

“While none of the above is especially surprising, some findings were less expected. For example, despite being home to the Dandenong Ranges, Wilson’s Promontory and the Grampians (to name just a few), Victoria is the least popular state for bushwalking and National Parks,” Morris said.

“WA and Queensland come in last for shopping and museums respectively, while visitors to NSW don’t wine and dine as much as might be expected. This all suggests there are still opportunities for tourism bodies to be promoting the full range of their states’ attractions.

Edited by William Sykes

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