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Report Shows a Shake Up in Domestic Travel Ahead

Kantar TNS reveals insights in to the share economy, regional tourism and China’s traveller

Sydney: 21 March 2017 – Australians are eagerly embracing the share economy as well as regional, value-based travel at home, while the rapidly evolving Chinese traveller promises to dramatically shift the needle for the tourism industry.

These findings from Kantar TNS Australia’s annual Domesticate research revealed today, indicate a change in the travel purchase cycle which will impact both domestic and inbound travel in the coming year. Key findings include:

Big Appetite for Sharing

A boom in the share economy is enabling Aussies to branch out and have greater contact with locals. One in 8 are already using these types of services for domestic holidays which is expected to grow 33% in the short term.

China is leading the way globally with share economy adoption which in 2015 was worth US$299 billion and is expected to grow 40% by 2020.

Share economy accommodation already accounts for 10% or 13 million Chinese outbound travellers each year. Though the draw to interact more with local people and have new experiences meets key travel motivations, 1 in 4 Chinese still express concern around safety and quality standards.

Ed Steiner, Head of Travel and Leisure at Kantar TNS Australia said, “Though the share economy will continue to disrupt traditional tourism, people are conscious of the risk in variability and the unregulated nature of the offer. As ‘sharing’ grows in popularity, these perceived risks will diminish. To stand out, traditional accommodation providers need to better communicate the value of services where share economy providers cannot compete, and provide greater personalisation and customisation to grow.”

China’s Traveller Becomes More Experimental

While group travel has traditionally provided a safety net desirable to most Chinese, the study found that this trend is quickly turning toward Chinese travellers seeking the spontaneity, adventure and flexibility that comes with free independent travel (FIT).

Chinese travellers want to ‘find themselves again’, nourish their souls through new experiences and learn new things. They are motivated to travel outside Asia for experiences which completely differ to everyday life and where there is an opportunity to learn – different customs, cultures, languages, cuisines, scenery and activities.

Top 5 motivations for travel outside Asia:
44% to relax
39% to try something new
37% to feel excited by new experiences
30% to reward myself for hard work
28% to meet interesting and friendly local people

“Although traditional Chinese travellers associate overseas travel with group tours, the rising Chinese middle class and strong economy are creating new drive and incentive to do away with tradition and venture into experimental travel. Australia is well placed to take advantage in the semi-FIT territory by responding to and creating packages that blend pre-booked accommodation and flights with flexible itineraries,” Steiner commented,” Steiner commented.

Rise of Regional Australian holidays

The study shows that domestic holiday needs are best fulfilled through regional Australia. Of the key criteria the majority of Aussies look for in a holiday, one in 4 associate regional Australian destinations with peaceful moments of quiet and reconnecting with family and friends.

Top 5 experiences Australians want from holidays:
52% - peaceful, a moment of quiet
48% - leaving the cares of the world behind
40% - re-connecting with family or friends
37% - enriching and fulfilling
36% - indulging and rewarding

While Aussies look for luxury overseas, domestic holidays are more about the value of the experience making mid-range hotels, motels and serviced apartments in the region more relevant.

Despite concern over staying on top of things at work, holidays are non-negotiable in Australians’ lives, with rejuvenation central to the Australian holiday experience.

Kantar TNS’s Domesticate was founded 11 years ago and aims to understand the behaviour of travellers both domestically and overseas to provide strategic insights into what motivates and drives different travellers.

The report provides further guidance to the Australian travel sector to make the most of these opportunities. For more information, please contact: