July 15, 2019

Australian population growth powers travel industry

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8057
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It’s Official: Australian population growth since 2000 is powering the travel industry as proportionally fewer Australians are taking a holiday today than two decades ago.

In 2000/01 some 10.7 million Australians each year had at least one holiday, including 10.3 million who took a domestic holiday and 2 million who travelled overseas on holiday. Some Australians took both domestic and overseas holidays.

Today, around 13.7 million Australians take at least one annual holiday, including 12.6 million taking a domestic holiday and 5.5 million travelling overseas. This represents an increase of 3 million Australians (+28%) travelling on holiday compared to 2000/01. However this increase in travellers is driven entirely by population growth.

Our propensity to travel is less than it was in 2000/01 - the proportion of Australians taking trips has dropped from 69.3% in 2000/01 to 66.8% today, down 2.5ppts. We are taking shorter holidays and fewer holidays each.

The chart below shows the Australian population aged 14+ has grown by 5.1 million over the past two decades representing an increase of 32.8% and out-pacing the growth in holidaymakers.

A closer analysis also shows that while Australians taking domestic holidays has only increased by 2.3 million (+22.8%) since 2000/01 far more Australians are taking more expensive overseas holidays now than two decades ago, up by 3.5 million, and more than doubling – up by 169.3% since 2000/01.

Australians taking a domestic and overseas holidays in the last 12 months - % and million

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2000 – March 2019.12 months moving average quarterly. Average interviews per 12 month period, n=20,270. Base: Australians 14+. 

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says:

Block Quote

“Australia’s strong population growth over the last two decades is the single biggest factor driving the growth in travel. Australia’s population during the last two decades has grown from 15.5 million Australians aged 14+ in 2000 to 20.6 million today, an increase of 5.1 million (+32.8%).

“This rate of population growth exceeds the relative growth in Australians taking holidays, whether domestic or overseas, which has increased by 3 million to 13.7 million, up by 28%.

“Comparing the growth in Australians taking domestic holidays with those taking overseas holidays highlights the changing travel patterns of Australians. Proportionally fewer Australians are taking holidays, now 61.2% of Australians have taken a domestic holiday in the last year compared to 66.3% two decades ago – a fall of 5.1ppts.

“However overseas holidays are booming and over a quarter of Australians (26.5%) have taken an overseas holiday in the last year, up from only 13.1% in 2000/01 – more than doubling.

“Although overseas holidays are increasing in popularity in 2019 the average length of an overseas holiday has dropped to just over three weeks, or 21.6 days. This is a significant decline from the average length of overseas holidays taken by Australians in the early 2000s which clocked in at just over a month long, or 31.9 days.

“Australians are also taking fewer trips today, whether domestic or international, than they used to. The average traveller in 2019 took 4.1 trips in the last year compared to 4.6 trips back in 2000/01.

“Contact Roy Morgan to learn more about the travel habits and preferences of Australians or browse our extensive range of travel profiles and reports including the comprehensive Holiday Travel Currency Report based on in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year as part of Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey.”

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

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

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