Aussies love using an OTA to plan trips but may opt to book direct to provide maximum financial support.
Aussies love using an OTA to plan trips but may opt to book direct to maximise financial support.

More than half of Australian holidaymakers booked at least one hotel as part of recent domestic trips, with the tourism industry seizing on momentum and introducing campaigns such as Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’.to further promote travel within Aussie borders.

The encouraging data was extrapolated from research commissioned by online travel giant, Expedia Group, and conducted by research firm BVA BDRC. The study polled 1,162 travellers immediately after booking flights within or to Australia, with a consumer research panel also conducted using Australian domestic travellers who did not fly as part of their last holiday.

Further results showed two-thirds of those surveyed used an online travel agent (OTA) to research travel products, with half using an OTA to search for hotels and conduct research on their trip. The study bolstered the research and inspiration credentials of OTAs in general, with more than two in five of those who did their research via an OTA still booked directly with their chosen property, however stayed an average of 4.9 nights as opposed to OTA customers, who stayed 5.8 nights on average and spent $289 more on accommodation per trip.

Malua Bay, south of Batemans Bay on the NSW coast.

Australian travellers were opting to spend up on local produce and experiences as part of their domestic holidays, with the research finding a greater tendency to book small, locally-run accommodation as opposed to major brands. Spending on local activities and meals in local restaurants was also found to be higher.

Expedia Group Senior Director of Market Management, Drew Bowering, said the results presented invaluable opportunities for hotels to adjust their marketing to domestic markets and fill gaps left by overseas visitors in the wake of Australia’s summer of bushfires, extreme weather and now as the world struggles to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Understandably, Australians are being cautious in making their travel plans during this period and we can expect more domestic bookings with shorter booking lead times,” Bowering said.

“Partners can factor this into their sales strategy and look to offer more value-added services to drive higher conversion.”