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US tourists craving regional Australia: Expedia

Novocastrians could be seeing an influx of Americans keen to see their slice of paradise, Expedia says.

Regional centres in Australia are exploding in popularity among American travellers eager to explore cultural experiences and discover the heart of the country, new booking data from Expedia has revealed.

While Expedia users researching and booking cities such as Brisbane and Perth have also skyrocketed year-on-year, it is destinations such as Newcastle, Townsville, Darwin and Canberra which are piquing the interest of long-haul Stateside adventurers.

The number of Americans searching for Newcastle jumped 180% year-on-year, with Townsville not far behind on a 175% increase. Darwin was the best performing capital city, posting a 170% improvement, while Adelaide was up 155% and Canberra up 130%.

More US travellers were enquiring about package holidays to Australia, with package searches to capital cities up 20% year-on-year. These higher-yield packages allow hoteliers to maximise revenue by offering rack rates or minimally discounted product along with flights, which are already competitive. This practice added value to the American market, resulting in an average 10% yield increase as travellers proved 25% less likely to cancel a package trip as opposed to an individual component in an FIT or customised holiday.

Expedia Group Director of Market Management, Alejandro Moxey, said American travellers provided much more than a yield increase to Australian hoteliers.

“Americans are among the highest OTA users in the world, which provides great opportunity for the Australian tourism industry.

“In fact, data from the Oxford Economics study revealed that overwhelmingly 80 per cent of American travellers prefer booking trips via OTA. They also spent more across all categories including food and beverage, retail, recreation and entertainment, as well as transportation.”

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