Australians are leading the pack as spenders in post-lockdown travel, with spending expected to exceed A$7,700 (US$4,979) on their getaways this year, more than six other countries surveyed.
Instagrammable food and a romantic Netflix show have also been cited as the main motivators for travel and choice of destinations for Aussies, according to the American Express 2023 Global Travel Trends report.
Participating in the survey were 1,000 travellers from Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, and the UK, as well as 2,000 travellers in the US. The survey set out to determine the primary motivators behind recent travel patterns and what they signal for the future of the industry.
It found that 45 per cent of Aussies are motivated to travel this year to visit a destination that will look great in photos or videos while 22 per cent of Aussies said they have been inspired to travel this year by the Netflix TV series Emily in Paris.
“Following the pandemic, we have built up quite the appetite for travel. We found that 76 per cent of Aussies see leisure travel as an important budget priority for the year while 97 per cent planned on taking at least one trip in 2023,” said Nicola Tan, director, product and portfolio management at American Express.
Adult travellers aged between 18 and 34 years were also found to be the most enthusiastic age category for travel plans. They were more likely to increase their spending budget compared to last year, and were now preferring extended weeklong trips.
“This age group responded with 82 per cent more likely (to plan) vacations to better their mental, physical, and emotional health in 2023. Interestingly, Australian adults who are a little older, aged 35-44, are more likely to want to save money by using their credit card points to put towards travel costs compared to other age brackets,” said Tan.
Unsurprisingly, Tan noted the report also found that social and environmental mindfulness is top of mind for the Aussie traveller more so now than ever, with 81 per cent interested in holidays with minimal environmental impact. One in two are also prioritising personal wellness in their travel plans.
The trends are expected to continue with the majority of travellers choosing a European adventure and preferring new destinations and experiences.
Tan also noted that social media and pop culture are also playing an increasing role in shaping travel trends: “A great example of this is the popularity that San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons hotel, is having off the back of the White Lotus season two premiere. This is all down to the rising and powerful trend of ‘set jetting’, where travellers flock to places that have captivated them on-screen.
“Our research found that 70 per cent of Gen-Z and millennial respondents (globally) agree that they have been inspired to visit a destination after seeing it featured in a TV show, news sources, or movies.”
Tan believes these trends represent an opportunity for the travel industry to tailor offerings to travellers and find new ways to deepen their engagement through more unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences, such as living life as a local for a day.