In the eyes of international travellers, Australia’s association with safety and security has risen from 43 per cent to 49 per cent, and from 47 per cent to 56 per cent in relation to nature and wildlife (CDP, July 2020).
Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison, has revealed Australia’s top forecasted global travel trends for 2021.
Trend 1: Naturally wide-open and remote destinations deemed safer
With people craving wide-open spaces, fresh air and nature more than ever, Australia’s natural paradises will be more desirable in 2021. Tourism Australia’s most recent consumer research, called the Consumer Demand Project (CDP), demonstrates that destinations boasting wide-open spaces feel safer for travellers - and, after spending more time at home last year than ever before, people are developing a new appreciation for being out in nature.
Trend 2: Safety is key
In the eyes of international travellers, Australia’s association with safety and security has risen from 43 per cent to 49 per cent, and from 47 per cent to 56 per cent in relation to nature and wildlife (CDP, July 2020). This shift shows elements that were once perceived as Australia’s barriers - isolation from the rest of the world and a large sparsely populated land - are more desirable amongst travellers, post COVID-19. Globally, Australia has always ranked very highly in terms of safety, which is likely to continue to increase given how well Australia has managed the pandemic compared with many countries across the world. Tourism Australia’s most recent research shows global travellers’ perceptions of Australia as a safe destination is increasing, and Australia is now the country most associated with safety and security, moving ahead of Japan (CDP, July 2020).
Trend 3: Travel as a force for good
Today’s travellers are increasingly seeking out brands and experiences that are not only good for them, but good for the world around them. This can take many forms: as simple as supporting local businesses by shopping big at a local winery, bakery or butcher, to getting hands-on with bushfire restoration efforts via recovery tours and experiences such as planting a tree to help re-establish koala habitats in affected areas. Tourism Australia’s consumer research supports this ‘force for good’ trend, showing that 91% like to travel to become more open-minded and knowledgeable about the world, and 74% are actively seeking out travel experiences that allow them to give back to a destination (CDP, April 2020).
Trend 4: Indigenous experiences on the rise
Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a rich, living culture stretching at least 60,000 years. Year on year, more and more travellers actively seek out and discover Indigenous tourism experiences throughout the country that allow them to connect with, and learn more about Australia’s First Nations People. Warm, welcoming and extremely generous of spirit, they offer a means of connecting with Australian places and cultures quite unlike anything else. According to the International Visitor Survey, in 2019 alone, approximately 1.35 million international visitors took part in an Indigenous experience on their holiday - this figure has grown by 5% each year over the past six years.
Trend 5: Travel to regenerate
Following the turbulence of 2020, the desire to use travel as a moment to reconnect and regenerate will dominate in 2021. Soft adventure experiences like multi-day walks and wellness travel (i.e. spa holidays, yoga retreats) have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and the pandemic has only amplified the desire for this style of holiday. Destinations and experiences that leave travellers feeling calm and rejuvenated - whether it's an all-inclusive multi-day hike or an off-grid eco-cabin stay - are expected to be popular with travellers.