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France, the United Kingdom and Thailand have emerged as the top three most visited destinations for Australian luxury travellers in 2014, according to Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).

Australians are also the number one Asia Pacific market for outbound travel for the company.

France tops the destination chart with 14.9% of all the room reservations by Australian SLH club members, followed closely by the United Kingdom (14%), Thailand (11%), Italy (11%) and Greece (7%). The top two destinations remained unchanged from 2013, with Thailand replacing Italy on fourth spot and Greece displacing the United States from the fifth place in 2014.

“Australia is our strongest market in Asia Pacific in terms of outbound travel… not only do Australians love travelling, they are a discerning market that seek unique experiences instead of run-of-the-mill offerings,” said SLH CEO Paul Kerr.

“This is especially so with the luxury traveller market and it is reflected in their accommodation choices – leaning towards boutique hotels with strong individual character and tailored services,” he said.

The Australian luxury traveller spends an average of USD$1,203 on hotel accommodation based on an average stay of three nights in 2014 (year-to-date). This has increased slightly from the average spend of USD$1,163 in 2013 (year-to-date).

“Besides the top destinations, we expect demand for domestic travel within Australia to rise due to the weakening Australian Dollar,” he said.

“With Tourism Australia’s 10-year forecast, expecting the number of domestic nights to increase by 23 million in the next 10 years, we are confident that our beautiful Australian properties will be a huge draw for the growing domestic travellers.”

The results of the survey were based on 14,398 Australian club members’ hotel booking information from 1 January 2014 to 31 August 2014.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management