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Research reveals an obsession with holiday selfies is confined to young millennials

June 10, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

New research reveals that our so-called ‘obsession’ with holiday selfies is not all it is hyped up to be – unless you’re a 20-something millennial. Nearly half of Australians who travel are generally social media shy, posting photos of only one in every four holidays. The figures are very different for millennials: nearly half of millennials post selfies during EVERY holiday, and nearly two-thirds enhance their photos before doing so.

The findings come from a nationally representative survey of 1000 Australian adults commissioned by HotelsCombined, the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform, and conducted by an independent research agency[1]. The survey sought to understand how Australian travellers document their holidays.

Facebook remains Australia’s biggest social media platform, with 17 million active monthly users; Instagram has five million active monthly users, and Snapchat has four million active daily users.

Despite this, a whopping 43 per cent of survey respondents indicated they post photos on social of one in four holidays, compared with just 24 per cent who post photos of every holiday. For millennials, however, 41 per cent post photos on social of every holiday. This rate decreases the older we get (26% of 30-somethings, 18% of 40-somethings and 17% of over-50s). Women are more likely to post photos of every holiday they go on (29% vs 18% of men).

The results also revealed that 20-something millennials are most likely to ‘enhance’ selfies and other holiday photos through filters and airbrushing, before posting on social media. Only 40 per cent said they post unfiltered images on their social accounts. The numbers were much higher among older age groups: 65 per cent of Aussies in their 30s, 78 per cent of 40-somethings, and 89 per cent of over-50s post selfies that they didn’t enhance.

Women are more likely to enhance their travel photos than men – 34 per cent of women admitted to putting their photos through filters before posting on their social pages, compared with 20 per cent of men.

The results also reveal that millennials the age group most likely to do a dangerous, risky or illegal activity just for a good photo – at 37 per cent.

Of those who would, 20 per cent said they would do it even if it were risky, 13 per cent said they would do it even if it were dangerous, while a scant four per cent said they would do it even if it were illegal.

Chris Rivett, Head of Marketing at HotelsCombined Australia and New Zealand says, “These findings did come as a surprise. With the millions of Aussies on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, the perception is that we love to post the best moments of their lives, which includes travel. The results indicate that, on the contrary, selfies at the beach and photos of our meals aren’t necessarily being taken for the purposes of our social pages, but for the memory, something private that we can look back on, which is really interesting given how prevalent social media is in our lives.

“A recent international study revealed Instagram and Snapchat to be the social media platforms least positive to young people’s mental health[3]. Our survey results showing that more than half of people in their 20s admitting to using filters or airbrushing to improve their holiday photos indicates the power these platforms have on their self-esteem, and the pressure they might feel to post perfect images of themselves.” 

Aussies who use airbrush or filters (by age)

Age %
20-29 60%
30-39 35%
40-49 21%
50+ 11%

Aussies who post photos on all holidays they go on (by age)

Age %
20-29 41%
30-39 26%
40-49 18%
50+ 17%

The top 10 most photo-friendly hotels available through HotelsCombined

Art Series The Johnson, Brisbane

  1. Adelphi Hotel Melbourne (Melbourne, VIC): $395 per night, features a swimming pool, roof top terrace and colourful art deco rooms
  2. Beach Club (Hamilton Island, QLD): $740 per night, and has an infinity pool and tropical palm trees lining the sky
  3. The Villas of Byron (Byron Bay, NSW): $560 per night, and a beautiful topical oasis with private pools and an impressive garden (national winner of the HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence Award)
  4. Art Series The Johnson (Brisbane, QLD): $116 per night, includes a picturesque rooftop pool bar and an impressive art collection – perfect for selfies
  5. The Langham Sydney (The Rocks, NSW): $534 per night, with classic, luxurious bedrooms, colourful furnishings and a grand indoor pool
  6. Crown Metropol Perth (Burswood, WA): $258 per night, features an outdoor pool lined with Instagram-worthy pool couches, an impressive beauty salon and even more impressive bath tubs
  7. QT Gold Coast (Surfers paradise, QLD): $216 per night, with ocean views and quirky interiors that push the boundaries of design.

(The above rates are estimates only taken from HotelsCombined as shown on the 30th of May, for a double room for June 2017 travel)

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