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Escape to the country: regional destinations preferred for short breaks

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan 2014–Dec 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Australians 14+. Thumbnail image: copyright Melody Ayres-Griffiths (Flickr Creative Commons)

Nothing beats a quick getaway for a change of scene and a break from routine — and last year, almost 50% of Australians aged 14+ did just that, taking at least one short domestic trip of one or two nights. Most of these quick-trippers stayed within their state of residence, with rural destinations proving most popular among capital-city and country dwellers, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show.

Among capital-city residents, Melburnians were the most likely to have taken at least one short break to regional destinations within their own state: 37% of them escaped to country Victoria for one or two nights at least once last year, just ahead of the 36% of Brisbanites who headed for country Queensland destinations.

Elevated proportions of Sydneysiders (36%) and Hobart (35%) residents also took short regional getaways within their home states.

% of Aussies who took a short trip to regional areas in their own state: city vs country residents


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jan 2014–Dec 2014 (n=15,944). Base: Australians 14+

Like their city-dwelling counterparts, country Australians seem to prefer taking short breaks in rural settings – with more heading to other country destinations within their own states than to their respective capital cities.

For example, 38% of people living in country NSW took at least one short trip to another rural NSW destination (more than double the 16% who went to Sydney) and 36% of country Queenslanders did the same in their state (more than triple the 10% who visited Brisbane), a trend that was consistent across all states.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Short breaks work best when you don’t have to travel far. If you’ve only got a couple of nights to spare, then it’s generally preferable not to spend too much of that time in transit (unless, of course, you’re doing a road trip). So it’s no surprise that many Australians tend to stay within their own state when taking a short trip.

“Without exception, capital city residents are more likely to escape to country destinations in their home state than anywhere else in Australia for short breaks. But whereas one might expect the corollary — that country-dwellers are more likely to head to their states’ capitals for their short breaks than anywhere else — to be true, it is not. Rural Australians are also more likely to take short breaks in other country destinations in their own states.

“While it should be noted that rural Aussies are also more likely than those from other states to visit their capital cities for short trips, it seems the appeal of a quick stay in the country wins out over the Big Smoke.

“It is vital for regional tourism operators and organisations to understand the motivations, demographics and habits of their target market, so they can tailor their communications accordingly and entice these people to make the journey to their destination.”

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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%