Digging Deep for Domestic Wanderlust

G’day. We’re all now well into our second year of living in a pandemic. How are you feeling? Frustrated about being mostly grounded on home soil? Or still inspired by the idea of getting up close and more personal with holiday spots in your own backyard?

If you’re a cup half empty kind of person, you might be finding it hard to move past how frustratingly slow our vaccine rollout is and the role this is playing in keeping Australia closed off from the rest of the world. Hey, I hear you – it certainly isn’t a moot point. However at this juncture, as someone passionate about the tourism scene, I acknowledge just how full our cup is thanks to the support of so many amazing Aussie’s who have embraced travelling – and spending – across the nation.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and this truth, combined with restless Aussies, has inspired travel marketers to truly ‘love the one you’re with’ this year. If nothing else, the past 18 months has given us new appreciation and fresh insights into what was in many ways an untapped resource – the domestic traveller.

As Australian’s took up the unprecedented opportunity to commit to domestic travel like never before, we’ve had the chance to deep dive into the psyche of our backyard wanderers to better understand what keeps driving them to local holiday distraction.

So, what have we learned about ourselves as travellers, and perhaps more importantly, how we’ve changed?

Aussies are more open than ever to supporting Indigenous business. A true win. It would seem that we’re particularly interested in regional locations, especially those not traditionally known for tourism as we have the time and headspace to delve a little deeper.

We’re getting serious about sustainable travel. The pandemic has failed to dissuade travellers from their quest to find eco-friendly holidays at home. According to a new poll from Virtuoso (a global network of agencies that specialise in luxury travel) 82 per cent of respondents reported that the pandemic made them want to travel more sustainably in the future.

Holidaying at home is still highly seasonal. While some things have changed, some things remain the same. Underpinned by a strong school holidays demand, family trips remain short and less frequent with a focus on lower-cost options or value options.

Homes away from home are calling our name. Let’s face it. Holiday home sites like Stayz have never been more popular as people seek out more space away from the city and suburbs and look for more unique and meaningful off-the-beaten-track experiences. Farm stays, heritage homes and beach villas have more appeal than ever before.

Bringing sexy back to the CBD is harder than we thought. Much to the chagrin of hoteliers, retailers and restauranteurs in our biggest city centres, domestic travellers continue to choose nature holiday over high-density urban jungle destinations.

Naughty by nature. Australian’s have always had a love affair with the great outdoors, but now that demand is super charged as tourists find nature travel more meaningful places to relax and recharge over urban spaces. Think camel treks on Kangaroo Island, Kimberley cruising, beach time at Byron Bay, camping at Cradle Mountain and kayaking in Cairns.

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