Since borders reopened for Aussie travel, it’s been a fast start for the domestic market but a much slower burn for those venturing overseas.
But new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that more Aussies decided to dust off their passports and escape winter this year – with June proving to be the most popular time to travel since borders reopened in November last year, up 71 per cent compared to the month prior.
In the past year, over five million Australians have made a trip abroad – with more than 3.3 million of that figure booking a ‘short-term’ trip of less than 12 months.
In terms of locations that are proving to be the most popular, New Zealand was the most sought after spot for a visit, with 96,180 arrivals recorded by Australia’s Pacific neighbour.
Indonesia and the UK were the second and third most visited places, with 86,160 and 66,480 arrivals returning from each country respectively.
The USA, Fiji, India, Singapore, Thailand, Italy and Vietnam rounded out the top 10.
Over the whole 2021-2020 financial year, New Zealand continued to be the leading destination country for Australians travelling overseas, accounting for 195,370 trips in total, with the average traveller spending 19 days on their trips overseas.
Speaking toThe Australian, Daniel Finch, senior director at Expedia, said the travel brand had noticed an uptick in short-haul, single-flight bookings had soared over more long-haul journeys with multiple stops.
The observation makes sense, given a number of airlines have recently launched direct routes for Aussie travellers to avoid layovers, such as Air New Zealand’s flight from Auckland to New York and Jetstar’s renewed flight from Sydney to Seoul in South Korea.
“Destinations that are just a direct flight away are most popular, with travellers prioritising accessibility and ease over the past year,” Mr Finch told the publication, adding that Bali will continue to be a popular destination for Aussies into 2023.
“Bali has always been a popular holiday spot for Australians, so it’s no surprise that Bali remains the top destination for travellers since international borders reopened a year ago.”
At the other end of the scale, the biggest decline in trips has been to the still-closed China, with just 9660 trips since November, compared to 492,000 prior to Covid.