Stresses associated with lots of choice and changes in the social environment, especially around work culture, are having their effect on how we view holidays at home says a new report by Tourism Research Australia (TRA). ‘Changing Consumer Behaviour: Impact on the Australian Domestic Tourism Market’ is available from TRA.
Travel within Australia is not seen as travel at all!
The report looks at the gap between the desirability of travelling overseas and travelling within Australia. It seems today the desire to take a break domestically needs to satisfy very specific emotional needs for recharging, re-energising, pampering and connecting with friends and family.
The study finds that:
“Travel is either about cultural and intellectual enrichment or bragging rights. Travel within Australia does not fill either of these needs. Trips within Australia are about the end benefit delivered – connecting with family and friends, meeting obligations or compensatory needs like pampering. As a result, any marketing effort that uses a travel lexicon is unlikely to succeed.
The report explains that Australians are increasingly spending their discretionary time and money on things that make them feel better now.
This is challenging news for tourism. To take a holiday, you have to research, plan and organise. If you are going with a partner or friends, you have to struggle to coordinate your leave in an increasingly inflexible work culture. And holidays, by their very nature, are unpredictable – no amount of marketing and research can guarantee that the holiday you get will be exactly the holiday you expected.
In terms of tourism communications, the report finds that:
Gratifications do vary by lifestage and personality type. This means that mass marketing within current budgets is unlikely to prove an effective means to meet this need.
The report concludes that the key to addressing new consumer behaviour may be to make holiday offerings more tangible and gratifying.
Every Australian State and Territory is faced with the same obstacles.
Thanks to Tourism Tasmania’s Tourism Talk Newsletter for alerting us to the TRA report.