According to the most recent figures, the number of Australians travelling overseas is booming – with a record number of short-term resident departures being witnessed year after year.
The National Visitor Survey statistics gathered by Tourism Research Australia show that the country recorded about 8.3 million short-term resident departures (overseas visits lasting no more than twelve months) in the year ending September 2015. Almost 10 million Aussies with age 15 years and over went overseas in 2015.
The NVS survey also found that 57.5% of overseas visits were holiday trips and that approximately 163 million nights were spent in international destinations in that year. On average, Australian holiday-goers spent about 20 nights outside of our borders for each overseas trip. Those visiting friends and relatives spent an average of 25 nights while businesspeople spent 12 days away for each stint abroad.
But which places did they visit? Here we reveal Australians’ top ten destinations for overseas travel for 2015.
Popular Destinations for Australian Travellers:
1. New Zealand
New Zealand has been – and continues to be – Australians’ most popular destination. This is not surprising given it’s only a 3-hour flight away and has countless attractions. From natural attractions like forests, glaciers and hot springs to museums and exciting events and activities, it’s not hard to see why Aussie travellers never get tired of visiting this beautiful country. Most Australians actually go to New Zealand for holiday, and consider it to be a diverse, intriguing and exciting destination. The fact it is easy to move around, and with affordable airfares and holiday packages, means that Australian holiday-makers are able to sample a wide variety of attractions at a reasonable cost.
Southeastern Asia is the main focus for Australians looking for holiday inspiration; and one destination that Aussie leisure travellers are literally obsessed with is Indonesia, particularly Bali – which attracts Australian tourists like no other island. This unique and exotic island has been – and remains – Australians’ top choice for an overseas holiday. Its stunning beaches, exciting towns, enthralling nightlife, beautiful rainforests, geothermal areas and natural attractions have proven too hard to resist for many Australians. Many Australian travellers also love how far their budget will stretch as everything from travel, food, shopping and accommodation is extremely affordable.
The States is the most popular long-haul destination for Australian holidaymakers. The lure of the USA is the travel, the adventure, and the diverse places to visit from New York, to Las Vegas, to Hollywood. Its iconic cultural sights, amazing landscapes, friendly people and great food are also big drawcards. New York typically attracts the majority of Australian travellers to this country, many of whom usually find its 24/7 dose of street-level thrills irresistible.
Thailand is one of the Southeast Asia’s holiday destinations that are a favourite of Australian holiday-makers. The appeal is obvious: beautiful beaches, breathtaking countryside, friendly and welcoming people, and low prices. But the Land of Smiles also has a rich history and a unique cultural heritage, steeped in Buddhism. And the capital Bangkok fizzes with energy that is unmatched.
However, it’s the Thailand islands that attract the majority of Australian travellers, with Phuket bringing in most tourists. They feature world class hotels and resorts as well as beautiful white sandy beaches – all in an idyllic setting.
5. United Kingdom
“Mother England” still holds a big attraction for travelling Australians. Most Australians heading to the UK visit London, but other cities and even the English countryside are popular, as well. The integrated bus and train systems make it easy to visitors to explore London and its attractions and to travel to other destinations in Wales, Scotland, Northern Island and even Europe. Reasons given by Australian tourists for visiting the UK include: its unique scenery, history and culture. Many also come here to visit friends and family.
The number of Australian travellers heading to China has risen steadily throughout the past few years and continues to grow. Australia has, in fact, become the fastest-growing Western tourism market for China. This consistent growth can be attributed to China’s rapidly expanding airlines as well as its proximity to Australia and its culture – which is familiar to Australians. Many Australian tourists are taking advantage of restively cheap airfares to visit the country and indulge in all its attractions. Others, particularly businesspeople, are using China as a stopover on the way to Europe and this has contributed to the increasing numbers.
Singapore’s modern infrastructure, heritage buildings, best-in-class accommodation, sensational shopping and world-class attractions are a big draw for many international travellers, including those from Australia. Many Australian travellers see Singapore as a perfect destination for family holidays, romantic escapes and stopovers. Business travellers usually find its numerous state-of-the-art venues, excellent hotels and entertainment spots to be highly facilitative of their meetings and conferences.
Australians have had a long, enduring love affair with this island country and the devastating tropical storms that have hit the area have not deterred them from returning to enjoy its gorgeous attractions. If statistics are anything to go by, many Australians are still flocking to Fiji thanks to its balmy Pacific charm, beautiful beaches and clear, fish-filled waters. Direct flights are available from major Australian cities, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Because of this, it remains one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers.
Japan is emerging as the new holiday hot spot for Australian, overtaking many traditional destinations like Hong Kong. The country received a record 238,000 visitors from Australia in the year ending September 2015. One of the factors that have contributed to this is the increasing number of direct flights coming out of Australia. Flight bookings have soared over the past 12 months and this trend is not expected to change any time soon. Many Australians are finding it easy to travel to Japan, and this has boosted the figures. As well as direct flights, Japan’s unique mix of culture, technology and attractions are the other tourist drawcards.
Malaysia is another of Southeast Asia’s gems that attract hordes of Australian tourists, business people and other travellers. It ranks as the tenth most popular overseas travel destination for Aussies. It boasts many positive attributes ranging from amazing shopping and delicious cuisine through to a fascinating history and culture, from some of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful beaches through to exciting adventure activities, all of which boost its appeal to Australian travellers. Added to these, a favourable exchange rate makes this country one of the best value for money destinations for Australians in Southeast Asia.