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Queensland is the favoured pick for longer holidays during the pandemic with international borders closed

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, Jan-Mar 2021. Base for next long holiday: Australians aged 14+ who intend on taking a long holiday (3+ nights) in the next 12 months, n=2,492. Note: A respondent can be counted more than once as they can have an intention to travel to multiple destinations. A small percentage of Next Holiday Intenders are not shown on this chart as they cannot say where they next intend to holiday.

New data from Roy Morgan’s Holiday Travel Intention Leading Indicator Report shows 5.68 million Australians (26.9% of those aged 14+) in the March quarter 2021, intend to take a holiday during the next 12 months.

Of these travellers there were 5.24 million set on taking a domestic holiday and a further 340,000 planning an overseas holiday – although according to this week’s Federal Budget the international borders are set to remain closed for holidaymakers until early next year. There were a small number of prospective travellers who couldn’t decide whether their holidays would be domestic or international.

For those planning a holiday of at least three nights Queensland is now the top destination for 24.9% of travellers just ahead of New South Wales (22.7%) with Victoria (11.6%) and Western Australia (11.1%) significantly further behind. Other holiday makers have opted for another domestic destination, an international destination (which will have to be reconsidered with borders set to remain closed), or do not yet have any particular destination in mind at all.

In 2019 prior to the pandemic New South Wales had been the top domestic destination for holidays of at least three nights chosen by 17.2% of travellers just ahead of Queensland (16.4%) and Victoria (15.3%).

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from comprehensive in-depth interviews with 1,000 Australians each week or over 50,000 each year.

Domestic destinations of next long holiday of three or more nights – March Quarter 2021

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, Jan-Mar 2021. Base for next long holiday: Australians aged 14+ who intend on taking a long holiday (3+ nights) in the next 12 months, n=2,492. Note: A respondent can be counted more than once as they can have an intention to travel to multiple destinations. A small percentage of Next Holiday Intenders are not shown on this chart as they cannot say where they next intend to holiday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of Australia’s international borders and forced travellers to choose a domestic destination with Queensland emerging as the top choice according to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine: 

“The latest Roy Morgan data on holiday travel intentions shows Queensland over-taking NSW during 2020 to become the preferred domestic destination for holidays of at least three nights. Now 24.9% of travellers taking a longer holiday are choosing Queensland as their next destination just ahead of NSW (22.7%) and well ahead of both Victoria (11.6%) and WA (11.1%).

“Prior to the pandemic NSW had been the leading domestic destination for longer holidays of at least three nights picked by 17.2% of travellers just ahead of both Queensland (16.4%) and Victoria (15.3%) in late 2019

“However, Queensland’s excellent handling of COVID-19 over the last year has seen the State overtake its two domestic rivals as the preferred destination after many years trailing the two. Despite now being in second place NSW has also increased its share of intending travellers with Victoria losing out as the State suffered significantly during 2020 from a second wave of COVID-19. 

“The approach taken to the pandemic by the Queensland Government was endorsed at last year’s Queensland State Election with the Government of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk returned with an increased majority and these results show other Australians are also endorsing the State as a good place for a longer holiday as long as the international borders remain closed. 

“As the vaccine rollout continues around Australia and vulnerable populations are inoculated against COVID-19 the domestic tourism operators will be hoping that any future outbreaks of the virus are dealt with as swiftly and effectively as they have been over the last year. 

“The closure of the international borders which is set to continue into mid-2022 provides an unprecedented opportunity for Australian holiday-makers to explore their own country over the next year as international tourists remain ‘locked out’.”

View the Holiday Travel Currency Report or the Roy Morgan Leading Indicator Report for Holiday Travel Intention.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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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