The Trend Forecast is an insight into the 10.2 million Australian travellers who engage with News Corp Australia’s brands every month.
News Corp Australia’s managing director, food and travel Fiona Nilsson said: “The News Travel Network Trend Forecast delivers a consistent consumer survey that illustrates changes in travel over time and clearly identifies what is improving and importantly, where effort is needed to create action.
“Our latest study reveals that Australian travellers intending to take a trip interstate remains consistent but intent to travel intrastate has been steadily falling since last year. Intent to travel internationally is growing once again, with just under 20 per cent indicating it will be the next holiday.
“We are seeing that 78 per cent of travellers are now confident in international travel. While New Zealand remains firmly in the top spot for intent, the impact of that confidence is shifting intent from our neighbouring destinations toward long haul destinations, with Europe and the US moving up the rankings.”
Along with the destination data and consumer trends, four key insights were identified to assist the travel industry with their planning:
• Short term international travel is rising quickly, with one to two weeks now the most popular length of time to travel for those planning on heading overseas.
• Millennials and Gen Z value agent expertise for certain needs, they are more likely to rely on a travel agent for budgeting, insurance and entertainment plans.
• Lowest price is back on the agenda, but peace of mind still trumps it for now with over 50% of Aussies willing to pay more to ensure a safe and fun trip.
• All the metrics point to Millennials as crucial targets in the battle for share, with 87% of Millennials confident in international travel and more likely to be planning a round the world trip.
Nilsson also made a raft of announcements for the News Travel Network, with travel media brand Escape revealing a digital travel show currently in production, developments in the company’s weekend travel offering, and innovation in commercial video content for destinations.
Escape is producing a travel show format titled Escape To… which will go live in February 2023, and run for eight weeks. Additionally, audiences will be able to utilise interactivity integrated into the content – to book, enquire, and explore itineraries or discover more. The show is well supported with commercial partners including Emerald Cruises, Journey Beyond, and Singapore Airlines.
The News Travel Network is also investing in and expanding its weekend offering. Escape content will now be part of the Saturday Weekend magazine in The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, Herald Sun, and The Saturday Telegraph, creating new audiences and more inventory for partners.
Escape, in partnership with Travello and Mix&Match, is using News Corp Australia’s shoppable video in a new commercial content solution for destinations allowing consumers to gain information and book from the video. Showcasing destinations, including experiences and activities, the videos create attention across multiple channels and partners networks and take consumers closer to the transaction.
The biannual Trend Forecast uses the behavioural data from the News Travel Network audience, combined with a recent consumer survey of just over 1,000 people to understand sentiment, intent, and motivating factors in booking both domestic and international travel. This is overlaid with global and domestic research and the insights of the company’s senior travel editors to predict the key consumer travel trends that will shape the next six months.
News Corp Australia travel industry experts including Jana Frawley, content director, Escape; Kirsten Galliott, head of content – travel & luxury, Medium Rare Content Agency; and Vanessa Brown, travel editor, news.com.au, presented the consumer trends.
Key travel consumer trends identified:
Dollars And Sense – Good value and lowest price are the core factors of importance for Australians booking their next trip, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to scrimp when it comes to safety and security. Travel providers should clearly demonstrate the value of their offers to attract interest from the majority of travel-intending Aussies. With over half of them willing to pay more for ease and safety, providing these options can drive preference and margin.
Good Thrill Hunting – Now that travel has become easier, Australians are ready to celebrate. Young travellers are the keenest, planning on holidaying longer and spending more than they usually would on travelling for extended periods of time. With many Australian travel intenders planning to “go all out”, the value of experts and great service is in high demand. That means a significant opportunity to build loyalty, particularly with younger travel segments.
Make It Meaningful – More than ever, Aussies are looking for purpose when they travel. This can manifest in different ways, but it’s ultimately about having a defining experience, not just a holiday. Humanitarian holidaying is growing, with inclusivity and sustainable practices becoming core booking factors for both Millennials and Gen Z. Immersion in local culture has superseded ticking destinations off a list, with over a quarter of travellers looking to spend time in just one place and in need of local expertise.
Young, Free, and Keen To Mingle – Gen Z are more likely than any other generation to be looking for relaxation, self-care retreats and healing sabbatical-style holidays. They prefer to travel in groups and are far less concerned about value. Instead, it’s about a trip where they can easily all go out, challenge themselves, and give back to smaller communities. Gen Z are also much more likely to turn to travel influencers, online friends and viral video for travel content, reviews and suggestions meaning that leveraging social platforms is crucial to reach this high-value segment.
The News Travel Network is Australia’s largest travel media network made up of brands such as Escape, news.com.au Travel, and The Australian’s Travel+Luxury.