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Which capital city has the most holiday appeal for Aussies?

February 14, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

In 2006, just over 13.2 million Australians aged 14+ reported that they’d like to spend a holiday within Australia in the next two years. Fast forward to 2016, and that figure now sits at almost 14.8 million, the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Holiday Tracking Survey reveal. What’s more, the last 10 years have seen some noteworthy shifts among the domestic destinations people say they’d like to visit. Capital cities are a striking example.

Perennial favourites Melbourne and Sydney are even more popular with aspiring domestic holiday-goers than they were a decade ago. In 2006, Melbourne was the most desirable capital city by far, on the wish list of 3.2 million Australians. The Victorian capital is still in top spot, now with just over 4.2 million people saying they’d like to visit in the next two years—an increase of 33% over the last decade.

Sydney’s rise wasn’t quite as steep, from 1.9 million people to 2.4 million, but this was enough to keep it in second place. Perth seems to have lost its shine for prospective domestic holiday-goers, slipping from 1.7 million would-be visitors to 1.5 million in the last 10 years, and has since been overtaken by Brisbane (1.8 million, up from 1.4 million) and Hobart (also 1.8 million, up from 1.4 million).

Capital cities Aussies would like to visit on holiday: 2006 vs 2016


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan-Dec 2006 (n=18,567) and Jan-Dec 2016 (n=10,047). Base: Australians 14+

Almost 1.5 million Australians say they’d like to visit Canberra in the next two years (up from 1.2 million in 2006), while Adelaide is in the sights of an additional 200,000 potential visitors.


Age-specific vs ageless appeal

The country’s three largest capital cities have seen their popularity as potential holiday destinations rise among all age groups, with the 50-64 year-old bracket showing especially strong growth for Melbourne and Sydney, and Brisbane’s desirability surging among 25-34 year-olds in particular.

Hobart and Adelaide also made marked gains among the 25-34 year-old group, while Perth, Darwin and especially Canberra attracted considerable extra interest from older Aussies (65+) compared with 10 years ago.

Capital city preference by age group: 2006 vs 2016


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust), Jan-Dec 2006 (n=18,567) and Jan-Dec 2016 (n=10,047). Base: Australians 14+ (figures in red indicate decrease)

Viewed from this perspective, it becomes evident that Perth’s decline in popularity as somewhere Aussies would like to visit in the next two years is due to dramatic loss of interest among the 14-24 year-old, 35-49 year-old and 50-64 year-old age brackets.

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