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Sydney and Melbourne most popular domestic destinations over Christmas holidays

December 17, 2016 OTA News No Comments Email Email

If you think our major cities become ghost towns over the Christmas holidays as Aussies escape for the coast, think again. Newly compiled travel data suggests nearly half of Aussies will be spending their Christmas holidays in our metropolitan cities, with Sydney and Melbourne topping the list of destinations. The Saturday after school holidays is also the busiest day for travel.

HotelsCombined, the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform which has attracted nearly 1 million bookings to date this year, predicts this year’s Christmas holiday travel trends based on data from accommodation bookings by Aussies from 19 December 2015 to 18 January 2016.

Metropolitan travel destinations
HotelsCombined’s findings reveal that this Christmas 47 per cent of domestic accommodation bookings will be in our seven major cities (in each state). Sydney and Melbourne are the most popular destinations, accounting for 29 per cent of bookings over the Christmas period.

“The popularity of these destinations indicate people likely travel to see their families over Christmas, rather than booking a getaway,” says Chris Rivett, Head of Marketing Australia and New Zealand at HotelsCombined.

Holiday hot spots
Interestingly, popular beachside spots Noosa Heads and Bryon Bay don’t make the top 10 list of holiday hotspots across regional areas. Outside of our metropolitan cities, the Gold Coast was the number one travel spot, followed by Cairns, Coffs Harbour and then Wollongong.

Busiest travel days
If you think you’ll miss the airport crowds and traffic congestion by escaping for the holidays just before New Year’s Day, this won’t be the case. HotelsCombined reveals post-Christmas travel is a busier time than pre-Christmas travel, with 31 December showing the highest rate of accommodation check-ins, followed by the first day of schools holidays (17 December this year). The quietest day to travel in the holiday period will be the first Monday of the school holidays – 19 December.

Top international travel destinations over Christmas
While HotelsCombined’s bookings data reveals most Aussies travel domestically, 31 per cent of bookings over the Christmas holidays are for overseas destinations. Bali is the most popular holiday spot during this time, followed by the USA, New Zealand and then Thailand.

 Top 10 destinations over the Christmas/New Year period – Metropolitan areas:

Ranking Metropolitan area
1 Sydney
2 Melbourne
3 Brisbane
4 Perth
5 Adelaide
6 Canberra
7 Hobart
8 Darwin

Top 10 destinations over the Christmas/New Year period – Regional areas:

Ranking Regional area
1 Gold Coast
2 Cairns
3 Coffs Harbour
4 Wollongong
5 Port Macquarie
6 Newcastle
7 Launceston
8 Albury
9 Geelong
10 Hervey Bay

Top 10 destinations over the Christmas/New Year period – International bookings by Australians

Ranking International destination
1 Indonesia
2 United States
3 New Zealand
4 Thailand
5 Japan
6 Singapore
7 Philippines
8 Malaysia
9 United Kingdom
10 Vietnam

Busiest days to check-in to accommodation over the holidays:

Ranking Day of check-in
1 31 December
2 26 December
3 27 December
4 28 December
5 30 December
6 2 January
7 19 December
8 29 December
9 8 January
10 16 January

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