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Destination Asia: Asian-born Aussies’ holiday preferences

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Australians 14+.

Over the last decade, the multicultural make-up of the Australian population has seen some significant shifts. Between 2004 and 2014, the proportion of people born in European countries has been in slow but steady decline, falling from 12% to 10%, while that of Asian-born Aussies has doubled, going from 4% to 8%. As the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show, this growing Asian influence has some interesting implications for the tourism industry.

When it comes to where they’d like to go on holiday in the next two years, the preferences of Australians born in Asian countries can be quite different from the population average. While this is also true of domestic holiday spots, it is especially striking for overseas destinations.

Unsurprisingly, Asian-born Australians are more than twice as likely as the average Aussie to name Asian countries as holiday destinations they’d like to visit (47% vs 22%). Japan (13% vs 6%), Singapore (12% vs 4%) and India (11% vs 2%) rate particularly highly. Curiously, Vietnam is the only Asian country that Asian-born Aussies are (slightly) less likely to want to visit than the rest of the population.

Holiday destinations that are more likely to appeal to Asian-born Australians


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January-December 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Australians 14+. NB: Destinations shown are those for which Asian-born Australians over-index compared to the national average.

Of course, being born ‘in Asia’ can mean many things, and a person’s country of birth influences their destination preferences even more than the region they were born in. For example, 41% of Chinese-born Australians would like to take a holiday in mainland China, compared with the population average of 2%; and 30% of Indian-born Aussies would like to holiday in India, compared with 2% of total Australians.

Among the non-Asian destinations that Asian-born Aussies are noticeably more likely to want to visit are the United Arab Emirates (6% vs 2% of the total population), New Zealand (17% vs 13%) and the United States/Canada (29% vs 21%).

Latin America, Spain and Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece are among the places that appeal less to people born in Asia than the rest of the population.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Sixty-three percent of Asian-born Australians would like to go overseas for a holiday in the next two years, compared to 48% of the total population. The fact that so many of them name Asian destinations as places they’d like to go may suggest that they would like to catch up with their relatives while on holiday.

“Indeed, the same trend can be seen among people born in other regions outside Australia: those born in the UK are more likely to name the UK as a potential holiday spot, for example, while those born in North America are more likely to want to holiday in Canada and the US. No question about it, family ties play a key role in people’s destination choices.

“Funnily enough, the overseas destination named most frequently by Asian-born Australians is not in Asia: it’s the United States/Canada! Twenty-nine percent would like to take a holiday there, rising to 38% of those born in China. In fact, Chinese-born Aussies tend to have much higher-than-average preference for overseas holidays in general (78%).

“While the rise of Asian-born Australians represents a golden opportunity for tourism operators and travel agents with an international focus, domestic tourism organisations shouldn’t be alarmed. This segment of the population has some strong domestic holiday preferences too, for destinations as diverse as Melbourne and Hobart, the NSW high country and Phillip Island…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%