Hoteliers and tourism operators are expected to benefit from Australians’ pent-up desire for travel this Valentine’s Day, with 1 in 2 travellers likely to spend more money on travelling now compared to before the pandemic, according to Expedia Group’s Traveller Value Index 2022.

Luxury accommodation is proving popular with 4- and 5-star properties making up nearly 75% of searches for Valentine’s Day bookings on Expedia platforms, while the top searched destinations are averaging a $168 daily rate.

“Of all the encouraging signs for the travel industry, the willingness of Australians to spend more on travel and help rebuild the industry with more frequent, short breaks across their own backyard is the most promising,” said Expedia Group Senior Director Market Management APAC, Drew Bowering.

“While Valentine’s Day may not have been a peak holiday period before, by tapping into the pent-up desire to travel there’s an opportunity for the industry to capture the domestic market for more frequent trips outside peak travel periods like summer and school holidays.”

Sydney has come out on top as the most the most searched destination over the Valentine’s Day period, followed by Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.

Those travellers heading to Queensland are searching for coastal locations, with 80% of search interests in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Whitsundays, and 75% of searches looking for 4-5 star accommodation.

Travellers heading to New South Wales are searching for Sydney, North Coast, South Coast, Central Coast and Illawarra, with 65% of searches seeking 4-5 star accommodation. While in Victoria, in-demand locations are Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, Gippsland, Morning Peninsula and regional Victoria, with 65% looking for 4-5 star accommodation.