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December 10, 2019 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Booking numbers recently released by leading international online travel agency have given fresh insight into inbound and outbound travel trends in Australia.

According to actual bookings already made this year for travel between Jan 1 – 31 Dec in 2020, Perth airport unsurprisingly is dispatching the most flights to Southeast Asia, with Perth-Bali the number one destination. Sydney-Denpasar followed in second place, with Perth-Manila coming it at No. 4, Perth Lombok and Perth Penang at 6 & 9 respectively, and Melbourne Singapore No. 7.

Outbound Aussies are heading in droves to Manila in the Philippines, this year ranking at a surprise No. 2, followed by Ho Chi Minh (3), Penang (4) and Singapore (5), Kuala Lumpur (6), Lombok (7), Jakarta (8) Hanoi (9), with Cebu coming in at No. 10. In terms of departures, Darwin, Canberra and Coffs Harbour travellers come in at 8, 9 & 10 respectively.

Our love affair with Bali has travel between Australia and Indonesia at No. 1 by more than double of the next destinations, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam – (almost equally favourite), with Singapore accounting for a less than a third of the arrivals for those 3 holiday hot spots.

Overseas hotels already booked by Aussies on the Australian site show a preference for 4-5 star hotels, with over 75% of bookings within this bracket. In terms of hotel booking destinations, Indonesia came in at No. 1, followed by Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Cebu and Manila (5).

In North America, the US has proved more popular than Canada, with Waikiki and Honolulu substantially stronger than Vegas, Orlando, San Francisco and New York, with LA coming in at No. 10 for a planned travel destination. It will come as no surprise that LAX came in at first place for arriving flights, followed by New York (2) and San Francisco (3), and Vancouver (4) for flight arrivals from Australia.

Sydney was the most popular point of departure for North American bound flights, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. The most popular flight route is Sydney – LA, followed by Melbourne — LA (2), Brisbane — LA (3), and Brisbane — Vancouver comes in at No. 7, ahead of Sydney and Melbourne to Vancouver (8 & 9).

Domestically, Perth is No. 1 for hotels pre-booked in 2020 by Australians, streets ahead of Sydney, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.

Adelaide comes in at No. 2, and the Gold Coast at No. 5, but the real surprise was in regional bookings, at places such as Cradle Mountain, Lorne, Lovedale and Tenterfield, indicative of experience-oriented itineraries, such as hiking in Tasmania, touring the Great Ocean Road, Hunter Valley wineries, Queensland wineries and bohemian Byron Bay day trips.

The hotels and motels being booked are mainly 4 & 5 star establishments, with Palazzo Versace ranking at No. 4, one ahead of the Tenterfield Tavern and Motor Inn, with Mantra Lorne (7), and ibis Styles Canberra (10) both making the top ten.

More Australians have booked to depart from and arrive at Melbourne in 2020, ahead of Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and the Gold Coast, with Perth at No. 6.

The No. 1 and 2 flight routes being booked are between Melbourne and Brisbane (and return), backed up by Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing that almost 23,500 people chose to relocate to SE Queensland last year (up until March 2019). No. 3 is Melbourne-Hobart, with Sydney-Melbourne coming in at No. 4., and the Gold Coast to Sydney route less popular at No. 10.

Surprisingly, international visitors booking hotels on non-Australian sites are heading to Perth (1), Adelaide (2) and the Gold Coast (3). The Chris Hemsworth quokka selfie phenomenon is having an effect, with the Discovery low impact glamping site in Rottnest becoming one of the top 10 hotels booked by tourists planning to come to Australia in 2020. Once again, Lorne, the Swan Valley, and Port Douglas indicate experiential nature travel is on the top of the agenda.

Predictably, flights being booked on foreign sites for arrivals into Australia are to – Sydney (1), Melbourne (2), Brisbane (3) Perth (4) and Gold Coast (5). They are flying from Hong Kong (1), Singapore (5), Shanghai (7) and encouragingly for Australian tourism, Tokyo (9).

Data covering the upcoming NSW Christmas Holiday period (23 Dec – 3 Feb, 2020) has flights booked in Australia to Tokyo from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane dominating departures, as Japan enjoys a tourism purple patch, followed by Sydney-LA, Sydney and Melbourne to Shanghai and Sydney to Bali at No 7.

Data on flights coming into Australia booked on during this period shows China dominates, Japan is 2nd with domestic flights accounting for an encouraging 3nd place.

But where they are flying into is an eyeopener.

  1. Perth
  2. Brisbane
  3. Adelaide
  4. Hobart
  5. Gold Coast

They are planning to stay in luxury at

  1. Crown Towers Perth
  2. Palazzo Versace Gold Coast
  3. Travel Lodge Melbourne
  4. Stamford Plaza Adelaide

Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippine Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand said, “The Philippines has quickly become one of the most exotic holiday destinations with an array of lush, tropical backdrops, iconic sunsets, and dreamy tropical beaches, so it is no wonder it has been making its way on to people’s bucket list of places to visit in 2020 and beyond. Conveniently located just a short 8-9-hour flight away from Australia, the Philippines is also is perfect for the Australian market, especially considering their love of adventure, travel and passion for discovering unexplored destinations.

Destination Perth, CEO, Tracey Cinavas-Prosser said she was delighted to see Perth at number one for hotels booked by domestic and international consumers. “Perth has really come of age, we have a vast area of either brand new or refurbished hotels and are very competitive on price.”

These encouraging numbers and with regular promotions on’s platform, indicate

2020 is on track to continue the upswing in tourism outbound and inbound to Australia.

^Based on data reviewed on October 29, 2019

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