MORE CHOOSE BACKYARD BREAKS
Aussies are rediscovering their own back yards, taking an extra two million domestic holidays last year, according to research.
The NSW north coast, stretching from Newcastle to Byron Bay, had the most visited destinations last year, when 2.6 million people played tourist in their own country, show the figures from finder.com.au
Tourism Research Australia’s National Visitor Survey showed a 6 per cent increase in domestic overnight holidays – the ACT and Victoria enjoyed the greatest growth in domestic holiday visitors, with overnight trips climbing by 13.5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
Helloworld Travel Pakenham director Arianna Albertazzi told
Escape bookings for domestic travel had increased in the past 12 months. “We actually ask clients why they are travelling domestic and we get all sorts of answers – some prefer to explore Australia and the beautiful places that it has to offer, while others have a fear of flying so they drive, or take a bus or train instead,” she said. “Some people feel they are too old to fly long distances, or may have a back injury and can’t cope with long flights. Others can’t afford to get passports, or find overseas travel too daunting.”
Bessie Hassan from finder.com.au said holidaying at home was always a good option for budget-conscious travellers. “Avoiding expensive longhaul flights is one way to get more bang for your buck on your yearly getaway,” Bessie said. “The real winner is the Australian economy thanks to the extra tourism dollars.”
Licia Curro, 36, from Mudgee in NSW, said she loved to take her family of three young boys on local road trips, exploring Australia’s stunning countryside. “We love trips to the Dubbo Zoo, or going down to the South Coast to Huskisson – we’ve even gotten in the car and driven to Surfer’s Paradise,” Licia said.
“There’s something very special about travelling around Australia. I want my boys to see how lucky we are, to have all of this beauty to explore, right on our doorstep.”
NSW Minister for Tourism Adam Marshall said the North Coast was the state’s top region for visitors and expenditure, for good reason.
“In the year ended March 2018, the North Coast welcomed 5.3 million domestic overnight visitors who spent an incredible $3.3 billion in the region, an increase of almost 15 per cent compared to last year,” he said.
“With its stunning beaches, fresh local produce, national parks and waterfront accommodation, it’s little wonder the North Coast continues to attract travellers from across Australia and the globe.”
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said he’d enjoyed some wonderful holidays in recent years, including McMasters Beach on the NSW Central Coast, North Stradbroke Island in Queensland, Tasmania’s Barnbougle Dunes, Northern Territory’s Uluru, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, and Margaret River in Western Australia.
“Each trip has reminded me just what an amazing place Australia’s back yard is to holiday in,” he said. “We really do have it all.”
Diggers Beach at Coffs Harbour, NSW. The state’s North Coast had the most visited destinations last year.