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The decline of the day-tripper (what would The Beatles say?)

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=16,809).

Has the great Aussie day trip had its day? Recent findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that the proportion of Australians taking day trips has declined over the last five years.

In the year to June 2014, 36.9% of Australians aged 14+ took a day trip in a car at least once in any given three months – down from 41.1% as of June 2010.

Teenagers under the age of 18 and young people between 18 and 24 are the least likely to have taken a day trip: only 25.0% and 27.7% respectively hit the road in an average three-month period. The 50–64 age group, on the other hand, are the most likely to have taken the car out for the day (41.4%).

Incidence of day-tripping by age and geography


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014 (n=16,809).

While it’s tempting to imagine a day trip as something city-slickers do when they feel the need to escape the Big Smoke for the fresh air and bucolic charms of the country, rural Australians are more likely than capital-city dwellers to jump in the car and go day-tripping. Almost 40% of them took a day trip, compared with 35.2% of people from capital cities.

Folks from rural areas of Victoria and Tasmania are the country’s top day-trippers, while Perth residents are the least likely to take a day trip.

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

“Taking the car out for the occasional day trip has long been part of the Australian tradition. But with the price of petrol steadily increasing, it’s no longer the affordable prospect it once was, particularly in the larger states like WA, where you have to drive further to reach your destination.

“This decline in day trips doesn’t appear to be related to people having less time and more commitments than they used to. In fact, the proportion of Aussies who believe there ‘are not enough hours in the day’ has declined slightly since 2010 (from 57.1% to 55%). Curiously, day trippers are more likely to feel time-poor than the average Australian – but it doesn’t stop them hitting the road!

“The fact that country Australians are more likely than city-dwellers to take day trips is supported by Roy Morgan Research’s in-depth profiling tool Helix Personas. For example, people from the rural-based Country Conservatives persona are 27% more likely than the average Aussie to be day-trippers. These older, working-class couples lead quiet lives centred around their domestic comfort zone. Where some people yearn for exotic, action-packed holidays in foreign climes, Country Conservatives prefer the relative familiarity of a day trip in the car.

“Understanding who is most likely to take day trips — as well as their habits, attitudes, income and geographical location — allows regional destination marketers to tailor their communications to exactly the right audience.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Portia Morgan, Account Director - Consumer Products
Office: +61 (03) 9223 2436

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%