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Melbourne leading holiday destination ahead of Sydney

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2017 – September 2018 (n = 15,009). Base: Australians 14+.
New research from Roy Morgan shows over 12 million Australians (59%) intend to visit a domestic holiday destination and stay at least one night on their next trip. Melbourne is again the leading holiday destination for Australians with over 1.5 million Australians intend to stay for at least one night in the Victorian capital on their next trip.

In a clear second place is Australia’s largest city of Sydney. Over 880,000 Australians intend to stay in Sydney for at least one night on their next trip. Queensland capital Brisbane rounds out the top three with over 570,000 Australians intending to visit and stay at least one night on their next trip.

Other popular holiday destinations for Australians include the Great Ocean Road including Torquay, Lorne, Port Fairy etc. (522,000), the North Coast NSW including Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Port Stephens etc. (521,000) and the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Gloucester region just north of Sydney (437,000).

Australia’s smaller Capital Cities including Canberra (388,000), Perth (348,000), Adelaide (339,000) and Hobart (313,000) rank between 8th to 14th overall as destinations Australians intend to stay for at least one night on their next trip.


Top 15 domestic destinations ‘000s of Australians intend to stay at least one night on next trip

Top 15 domestic destinations '000s of Australians intend to stay at least one night on next trip

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2017 – September 2018 (n = 15,009). Base: Australians 14+.


How are Australian holiday intentions driven by psychographic factors?

Helix Personas is a unique and powerful consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the Australian population into 54 Personas and six Communities. Helix Personas uses a combination of Roy Morgan Single Source data and third party data sources.

This information is used to understand future buying intentions and media consumption patterns.  These are easily integrated with third party datasets.

Analysing the holiday intentions of Australians by their Helix Persona Communities, and the underlying Helix Personas, reveals different travel destinations around Australia are more attractive to certain types of Australians than others.

Aspirationals eye trips to Melbourne while Hearth & Home look to Sydney & Brisbane

Overall more than 12 million Australians (59%) intend to travel to an Australian holiday destination and stay at least one night on their next trip. As shown above Melbourne is the leading domestic holiday destination with over 1.5 million Australians (7.5%) intending to stay for at least one night in the city on their next trip, significantly in front of the 880,000 (4.3%) intending to visit Sydney.

A closer look at Australia’s ten leading holiday destinations shows 300 Aspirationals more likely to choose Melbourne than other Helix Personas Communities whereas Australians in the 400 Hearth & Home Community are more likely than other communities to choose Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

The Great Ocean Road and Surfers Paradise are more likely to attract 200 Metrotechs than other Helix Personas Communities while 100 Leading Lifestyles are the Helix Personas Community most likely to plan a trip to the North Coast NSW, Canberra and South Coast NSW.

Australia’s leading holiday destinations ranked by % of Australians intend to stay at least one night on their next trip and their leading Helix Persona & Community

Australia's leading holiday destinations ranked by % of Australians intending to stay at least one night on their next trip and their leading Helix Persona & Community

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2017 – September 2018 (n = 15,009). Base: Australians 14+.  *Great Ocean Road includes Torquay, Lorne, Port Fairy, North Coast NSW includes Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Port Stephens, Hunter Valley, Newcastle includes Lake Macquarie, Gloucester, South Coast NSW includes Gerringong, Merimbula, Nowra.

But the obvious question is – what type of Australians do these Helix Personas Communities and, drilling down further, these Helix Personas represent?

300 Aspirationals: Ambitious, up-and-coming, culturally diverse young families, young singles and couples committed to creating a successful future.

  • 307 Experience Seekers include a high proportion of young people – teenagers still living at home with their parents and young adults taking their first steps to independence by living out of home. They are culturally diverse, just under half were born in Australia. Most of those born overseas hail from India and other parts of Asia (excluding China).

400 Hearth and Home: Highly educated, socially aware, hard-working, ambitious and culturally diverse young singles typically renting apartments in the inner city and inner suburbs.

  • 404 Traditional Values are conservative minded older Australians – many are aged 65+ and already retired. You’ll find most living in regional NSW and Queensland, living in separate houses;

  • 407 House Proud are focused on home and are perennial home improvers.  You’ll find a mix of ages and household types among them, living in metro and country areas of NSW and Queensland.

200 Metrotechs: Highly educated, socially aware, hard-working, ambitious and culturally diverse young singles typically renting apartments in the inner city and inner suburbs.

  • 205 Libertarians are socially aware, progressive and open minded. They are amongst the most culturally diverse of the Metrotechs – close to half were born in Asia, with many hailing from China. They are highly educated and many are young singles, with many living in shared households. You’ll find most of these inner city apartment dwellers renting in Melbourne, along with smaller clusters in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth;

  • 206 Fit and Fab are Fad loving and tech-oriented. Fit and Fab are amongst the youngest of the Metrotechs. One in 3 are aged 14-24, and close to half are currently students and either living in shared households in inner city Sydney and Melbourne or with their parents.


Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says:

“Over 12 million Australians intend to stay at least one night in a domestic holiday destination on their next trip and once again Melbourne is the favoured destination of Aussie travellers.

“Melbourne is nominated by over 1.5 million Australians as a destination almost double second placed Sydney on just over 880,000 and close to three times as popular as third placed Brisbane on over 570,000.

“Other popular destinations outside of Australia’s largest cities include the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and the nearby towns of Torquay, Lorne and Port Fairy and the North Coast of New South Wales incorporating Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens. Both of these destinations are mentioned by over 520,000 Australians.

“To get the most value out of the data Roy Morgan collects on Australian travel intentions it’s important to drill down into what really drives Australians to make the decisions they do.

“The Helix Personas data is a unique and powerful consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the Australian population into 54 Personas and six communities.

Helix Personas shows there are significant differences between the types of people most likely to nominate a holiday to Melbourne such as 300 Aspirationals and particularly ‘307 Experience Seekers’ and those more likely to nominate Sydney such as 400 Hearth and Home with ‘404 Traditional Values’ the most likely.

“Analysing all ten of Australia’s leading holiday destinations by Helix Personas shows different destinations attract different types of Australians. 200 Metrotechs are the most likely community to intend travel to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road or Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast while those in the 600 Fair Go community are the most likely to plan a visit to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley region just north of Sydney.

“The Roy Morgan product allows travel agents as well as holiday destination businesses such as hotels and resorts to understand where their customers are based and which markets to target precious marketing dollars at to drive the greatest return on investment.”

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