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Nielsen data reveals Australia’s top travel trends and the brands spending big to attract Aussie tourists

4 minute read | April 2024

Sydney – April 30 , 2024 – As many Australians return from a much-needed retreat over the recent school holiday break, millions are already planning their next getaway, embracing travel rewards schemes, while being wooed by travel brands spending millions to get their business.

Nielsen Consumer & Media View (CMV) data shows that 76% of Aussies plan on travelling domestically in the next 12 months, while more than half (52%) have their eye on an overseas destination.

Top domestic destinations

Younger Aussies (25 to 39) are the most likely to be bitten by the domestic travel bug, with 78% planning to holiday locally in the next 12 months. Sydney narrowly beats Melbourne as the preferred place to visit, followed by The Gold Coast, Regional NSW, then Brisbane.

Top overseas destinations

The even younger 18 to 24 age group are the most likely to travel overseas, with 58% planning to travel abroad in the coming year. The UK tops the list of desired OS destinations, followed by New Zealand, Japan, The USA and Indonesia.

While most Aussies are looking for a beach getaway when it comes to staying close to home, they prefer a trip involving plenty of sightseeing, followed by some rest and relaxation, once they leave the country.

Top travel websites

Data from Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR) saw Qantas claim top spot when it comes to travel websites, followed by Trip Advisor with 5.82 million and 5.02 million users respectively in Q1 of this year. Booking Holdings Network was the third-largest platform in terms of users with 2.5 million.

Average user engagement time on most travel platforms was also consistent from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024, although Royal Caribbean Cruises and led the pack. On average, Royal Caribbean users spent roughly 29 minutes interacting with the platform, while Anytrip users spent almost 27 minutes on the platform.

Top frequent flyer programs

The number of Australians who are members of a frequent flyer program also increased, with 57% of all Australian consumers now part of some sort of travel rewards scheme. Qantas remains the market leader with a 45% share of the market, followed by Virgin (31%), and other smaller players making up the remaining 24%.

Top travel advertisers

In addition, Nielsen Ad Intel data also shows that the travel and tourism industry spent more than $153 million on advertising in Australia in Q1, 2024 – an increase of 8% from the previous quarter, with TripADeal the biggest spender, followed by Virgin Australia, then the Flight Centre-owned Ignite Travel. 

Nielsen Ad Intel’s Australia Commercial Lead, Rose Lopreiato, said: “Australians’ love of travel continues to defy cost of living pressures, as shown by an 8% jump in travel ad spend this quarter. You can’t get a stronger indicator than that when it comes to how marketers and advertisers are spending in order to maximise ROI, forge lasting connections with brands and consumers, and do so in the most economical way possible. From competitive ad spend analysis, to knowing what your competitors are saying in market and the deals and offers you’re up against, Ad Intel helps you understand which ads are driving your competitors spend and where”.

Glenn Channel, Nielsen’s Pacific Head of Advanced Analytics added: “More than ever, brands need data that gives them the edge on their competition. That means going above standard demographic information, and understanding consumers, in this case travellers, as unique groups, who are motivated by more than just the urge to get away. Nielsen CMV enables brands to see consumers through an advanced audience lens, delivering a more holistic picture of behaviours and preferences with surprising linkages and purchase triggers that other consumer insight providers can’t match.”

About Nielsen

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviours across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences – now and into the future. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. 

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Media Contact

Dan Chapman
Assoc. Director, Communications, Nielsen APAC
+61 404 088 462