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Eco-holidays still all too rare for Australian travellers

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013–June 2015 (n=32,676).

Like Kermit the Frog once sang, “It’s not easy being green” — and taking an eco-friendly holiday is no exception. The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that while more than 20% of the population would like a total ecotourism experience for their next holiday, only a tiny fraction have actually had one…

As of June 2015, 21.6% of Australians (some 4.2 million people) agree with the statement, “For my next holiday, I’d really like a total ecotourism experience”, up slightly from 19.3% (or 3.6 million) in the year to June 2011.

But while interest in eco-friendly travel is gradually rising, the proportion of Aussie holidaymakers who lived the green dream (“a real eco-tourism experience”) on their last trip remains extremely low at 1.1%. Whether this is due to a lack of ecotourism options or a lack of affordable ecotourism options is debatable, but one thing is for sure: it represents a stunning opportunity for accommodation providers and tour operators.

Certain destinations within Australia are particularly popular with travellers who say they’d like a total ecotourism experience on their next holiday. For example, almost 45% of Aussies planning to go to the Ningaloo/Coral Bay/Exmouth region in Western Australia on their next trip would like their trip to be eco-friendly – more than double the national average.

‘For my next holiday, I’d really like a total ecotourism experience’ by destination intention

eco-destinations

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013–June 2015 (n=32,676).

People planning to visit the Dandenong Ranges/Yarra Valley area outside of Melbourne (39.5%), Mt Buller in snow season (38.7%) and Kalgoorlie (38.4%) are also considerably more likely than the average Australian to express interest in a total ecotourism experience.

Curiously, only 12.7% of Aussies planning to visit the Whitsundays — a destination renowned for its natural beauty and pristine beaches — on their next trip show any interest in an ecotourism experience.

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

“Ecotourism is still a tiny niche market in Australia, with barely more than one percent of holiday-makers enjoying a real ecotourism experience on their last trip. This is in stark contrast to the millions of Aussies who’d like their next holiday to be an ecotourism experience. 

“The challenge for accommodation providers and tourism operators is to bridge this gap. Clearly, Australians are interested in eco-holidays, but something is preventing most of them from actually taking this kind of trip.

 “A good start would be to establish more green-friendly (and affordable) options in the destinations featured above, which seem to attract above-average proportions of holiday-makers who’d like a total ecotourism experience on their next trip.”


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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

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2