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Backpackers uncovered What do travellers really think of Australia? May 2011


Contents 

Key takeouts

Objectives

Research approach

Who did we speak to?

Travel planning

The trip

Perceptions of Australia

Recommendations 1


Key takeouts


Key take-outs Australia is a dream destination for many 

Australia is still seen as a dream destination for travellers with many coming here for an adventure

Two thirds of backpackers are from Western Europe, with the majority of those from UK & Germany. 18 – 24yr olds predominate.

The ability to work while on their trip within Australia is important, with almost half having worked, or planning to work

Friends & Family are a key influence on why backpackers come to Australia

Australia is a highly anticipated country

The stereotypes still apply when it comes to perceptions of Australia, with kangaroos, sunshine, beach and surf top of mind 3


Key takeouts Does the reality match the dream? 

Travellers are finding Australia expensive, and almost two thirds have had their trip impacted by the strong dollar. However overall backpacking trip lengths do not appear to have altered significantly

Backpacker travel is flexible – one in ten decided to stay for less time, and almost one in five extended their trip

In terms of meeting expectations, New Zealand significantly out-performs Australia

Indicators point to a need to improve product and service standards in Australia to stay ahead of the competition.

Despite a feeling that Australia is expensive, it remains on the ‘to-do list’ for travellers, and indicators for likelihood to return and recommend remain positive.

4


Objectives


The main objective of the research was to understand backpacker behaviour & attitudes towards Australia Through understanding: Profile – Who? Where?

?

!

Influence on decision-making

Backpacker travel patterns

Measuring likelihood of recommending Australia

Decision-making around their trip

Identifying priorities for improvement for Australia

Their experience of Australia vs. Expectations

6


Research approach


Research approach  

N=948 15 minute online interviews conducted across Australia via Global Gossip

WHEN?

9th to 17th April 2011

WHO?

Travellers – Spending at least one night in a hostel

WHAT?

8


Who did we speak to?


Traveller profile Majority of backpackers are from UK, Germany & North America Gender ď Ž 58% male; 42% female

Region of Origin

2% 3%

14%

8% Age group 70%

6%

60%

USA & Canada

50%

Western Europe Non Western Europe

40%

Australasia

30%

Central & South America

20%

Asia

10% 0%

+ rs rs rs rs rs rs 7 y 24 y 4y 4 y 54 y 4 y 5 yrs 1 3 4 6 6 to to to to to to 14 18 25 35 45 55 S1 Which of these age groups are you in? S2 Please indicate your gender? S3 Which of the following best describes where you are from? Base: All respondents n=948

67%

36% UK 10% Germany 21% Other

10


Traveller profile Around 3/4s of backpackers are on a tourist/ working holiday visa Planning to work

Type of Visa

Work and Holiday Visa 10%

Other 5%

Australian Citizen / Permanent Resident 9%

50% 9%

Have or currently working in Australia

Student visa 5%

Three or six-month tourist visa 35%

Working holiday visa – year 1 36%

S6 What type of visa are you currently on? S7 Are you planning to work or have you worked whilst on this trip in Australia? S8 Are you planning to study, or have you studied, whilst on this trip in Australia? Base: All respondents n=948

40%

Planning to work in Australia

49% plan to / have worked in Australia

36% 60% 4%

Undecided

No

Yes

Planning to study Planning to study in Australia

Have or currently studying in Australia

10% 82% 9% 15% plan to / have studied in Australia

12% 85% 3%

11 Undecided

No

Yes


Traveller profile Type of work

Length of time working in Australia

24% of respondents would work in a rural area for 3 months to obtain an extra 12 months visa & a further 19% would consider it

39 29 19

18

18

16 8

5

5

1

ild ca re /n

an ny Re cru it m en t Nu Te rsi ac ng hin /h g ea lt h ca re

11

Ch

2-4 months 34%

44

Ba r/w ait sta Fr ff uit pic kin g Ho sp ita lity La bo ur ing Of fic ew or k Sa R et les ail /m ar ke t in g

4-6 months 21%

47

Ot he r en tre

6-9 months 11%

Less than 2 months 18%

Ca ll c

9-12 months 10%

How to spend the money earned

69% Travel within Australia

22% Travel to another country

S9 What type of work have you / do you plan to do in Australia, on this trip? S10 In total, how long do you plan to work / have you worked in Australia, on this trip? S11 After you finish working in Australia, what do you plan to do with the money? Base: S9/S10/S11 n=333

8%

Go back home

12


Travel planning


Other countries considered before booking a trip to Australia NZ, SE Asia & the US were also considered for the trip 10% 10%

Nett

5%

Canada

Nett

24% Nett

18%

32% Nett

25%

USA

Nett

4% Nett

13% Nett

8% Brazil

33% 7% New Zealand Argentina A5 Which other destinations did you consider before you booked your trip to Australia? Base: All respondents n=948


Plans prior to departure Almost 2/3rds spent 6 months or less planning their trip Planning of trip

25

Booking of flight ticket

34

23

24

15 18

11 12

8

C1 Prior to your departure, how long had you been planning this trip? C2 How long prior to departure did you book and pay for your flight to Australia (which may have been part of a multi destination/ “Round the World� ticket)?

Base: All respondents n=948

6

ks 13m on th s 36m on th s 69m on th Ov s er 9m on th s

6

ks

s s rs rs rs hs hs hs th ek ea ea ea nt nt nt n e y y y o o o o w 3 m m m 1-2 2-3 2m n 4 1-3 -6 -9 an 1 a 3 6 h t 9 th re ss o e L M

5

12w ee

3

24w ee

11

15


Booking behaviour When did travellers book the following:

At the time of After booking my booking the Once I arrived at airfare but before Have not booked airfare to my destination travelling Australia

Not sure

Accommodation

17

18

45

12

9

Flights within Australia

20

12

30

27

11

Tour

11

7

45

26

10

Day activities

9

7

50

23

11

Insurance

40

29

8

13

10

Car/Campervan rental

10

7

21

50

12

Online – direct with the supplier

Online – other

Telephone – direct with the supplier

Telephone – through the travel agent

Flights to Australia

37

22

5

9

6

21

Accommodation

30

20

11

4

25

10

Flights within Australia

49

18

5

7

7

14

Tours

19

15

7

8

21

30

Day activities

17

12

8

8

28

27

Insurance

33

21

9

8

10

18

Car/Campervan rental

29

17

11

9

17

17

How did travellers book the following:

In person – In person – direct with through a the supplier travel agent

C3a When planning your trip, when did you purchase / book the following things? C3b When planning your trip, how did you purchase / book the following things?

16 Base: All respondents n=948 / Flights to Australia n=808 / Accommodation n=756 / Flights within Australia n=590 / Tours n=600 / Day activities n=631 / Insurance n=728 / Campervan rental n=366


Decision making Influences on travel to Australia - Word of mouth is key

54 24

14

14

12

12

11

10

A5a Which of the following influenced you to consider Australia as a destination for your trip? Base: All respondents n=948

10

9

9

7

10

17


Reasons for visiting Australia

18


ha ve a

A2 Thinking about this trip to Australia, please choose up to three reasons that best describe why you took this trip? Base: All respondents n=948

go

to

in t

er e

he

ve

I lo

6

pe cif y)

re pl ea se s

ew

in du lg e

7

r(

so m

n

st/ pa ss io

ily

sk il l rf am

oi lm ys el f/

sp

an

ne w /o

nd

a

pa rty

y

8

Ot he

ba ck

To

rs ue

fri en ds a

le ar n

To

ol id a

tri p

9

To

ith pu

ew

Bi g

un wi nd

14

To

tim

nd

ye ar

18

or ki ng h

lax a

21

W

re

Ga p

23

To

To

24

nd

To

24

Sp e

Ex pl

n ad ve vi nt sit or ur so e e m an ew d le he ar To re n ne ab m ee w ou to tn th ew er cu pe ltu op re le/ s m ak e fri en ds To fu lfi la dr ea m

To

Reasons for visiting Australia

A range of motivations with key emotions including adventure, exploration, novelty, meeting people 42

28 18 13 5 2

19


The trip


Is Australia the only country travellers visited? Fairly even split between those only going to Australia vs. Australia being one of other destinations

YES 54%

90% of respondents visiting other countries said that Australia was the main destination

NO 46%

First trip to Australia

12% No 88%

A3 Is Australia the only country you have/ will be visiting on this trip? A4 Was Australia one of the main destinations you definitely wanted to include on this trip? Base: All respondents n=948 , those who are also visiting other countries n=510

Yes

21


Length of time in Australia vs. other countries Travellers spend significantly longer in Australia than other countries TOTAL

10

AUS

18

12

27

30

OTHER

17

27

0

10

13

9

12

9

12

8

47

20

30

40

50

15

60

70

80

4

2

MEANS 10 months

8

MEANS 9 months

9

3 3 21 4

90

100

Less than 4 weeks

1-3 months

3-6 months

6-9 months

9-12 months

1-2 years

2-3 years

More than 3 years

B4 How long do you plan to stay in Australia (in total)? B7 How long did you / do you plan to stay in (Answer for A8b)? B7a How long did you/do you plan to stay in (Answer for A8c)? B8 How long in total will you be away for during your trip (total of Australia and any other destinations you are visiting)? Base: B4 & B8 All respondents n=948 , B7 & B7a those who plan to visit other countries n=199

MEANS 3 months

22


Places visited in Australia NSW and QLD have the highest levels of visitation among this group %

Have been to / Planning to go to

55% 89%

This is in line with IVS backpacker data published by TRA 45%

51%

92% 43%

73%

B9 Which of the following cities or states have you or do you intend to visit as part of this trip? Base: All respondents n=948

36%

24


Change of travel plans - Backpacker travel is flexible! Almost 1/3 of backpackers have changed the amount of time they plan to spend in Australia after arriving

No – I always planned to stay for this long 70%

Yes – I am planning to stay for longer 18%

Even better than I thought it would be & want to spend longer

31

Rather spend longer in Aus before go home

31

Met some really great people & want to stay longer

27 20

Able to extend it as found work

16

Can afford to stay longer Rather spend longer in Aus instead of visiting elsewhere

12

Rather spend longer in Australia than elsewhere

Yes – I am planning to stay for less time 12%

11

49

More expensive than I thought

35

Run out of money

32

Going to go home sooner than planned

15

Rather spend less time in Aus & go elsewhere

13

Rather spend less time in Aus & longer elsewhere

11

Unable to find work B5 Has the length of time you plan to stay in Australia changed since you arrived in Australia? B6a & b Why have you changed your travel plans? Base: All respondents n=948 / n=166 (more) / n=114 (less)

Disappointed with Australia

9

25


Money and exchange rates Almost 2/3rds have been impacted by the exchange rate Estimated spending money Mean = $6600

Impacted by the exchange rate

Yes, 63%

No, 37%

How? 67%

Less money to spend Spend less on entertainment

42%

Spend less on attractions

42% 32%

Spending less on accommodation 25%

Visiting less places in Aus Spend less on transportation

22% 19%

Spend less on communication

17%

Shortened length duration of stay in Aus Other

B13 How much do you estimate you will spend in Australia in total (in Australian dollars)? B14 Has the Exchange Rate for the Australian Dollar impacted on your trip? B15 How did the Exchange Rate impact on your trip? Base: All respondents n=948 / yes impacted by exchange rate (n=599) no = n=349

7%

26


One in five have been impacted by recent media coverage of the flooding and / or Cyclone Yasi Yes 19%

42

39

No 81%

YES How?

38 29

Cancelled a trip

Travelled to another place (Aus) instead

Postponed a trip

Taken a shorter trip

26

Travelled to an affected place to show support

B16 Has your Australia trip been influenced by the recent media coverage of the flooding and / or Cyclone Yasi B17 How was your trip impacted by recent coverage of the flooding / Cyclone Yasi?

Base: All respondents n=948 / yes – n=183

Yes

23

23

24

Taken a longer trip

Travelled to an other place (Not Aus) instead

Other

27


Perceptions of Australia


What do people think of Australia? The cliches still fit Kangaroos are the main thing that springs to mind when people think of Australia

A1 What three things come to mind when you think of Australia? Base: All respondents n=948

30


While Australia is seen as expensive, it remains a dream destination Australia is an expensive destination Australia is a dream destination & will always be on travellers' lists of places to go

Australia is a "has been" destination

Completely Agree

47

27

I'm enjoying Australia more than I thought I would before I came

Australia is a mass market destination rather than exclusive

30

53

35

16

38

13

8

Agree

17

17

22

6 3

36

9

36

10 3

33

Neither Agree nor disagree

13

27 Disagree

C14 How much do you agree with the following statements (where 1 = completely disagree and 5 = completely agree)? Base: All respondents n=948

4

16 Completely Disagree

32


Performance Australia vs. other countries – Top 5 Friendliness of locals

Variety of Tours on offer

Safe destination for backpackers

Self-drive experience

Quality of Tours on offer

34


Performance Australia vs. other countries – Bottom 5 Value of Air Travel

Value of accomodation

Quality of Accommodation

Internet & Roaming cost

Overall value for money

35


Australia has lost ground in terms of performance on key measures vs. last year Safe destination for backpackers

64%

Quality of service

57%

Quality of tours

56%

Tolerance of other cultures

47%

Backpacker travel agents

46% 2011

71%

64%

52%

Quality of hostel accommodation

82%

65%

58% 52%

2010

Significantly different at the 95% confidence level C4 How would you rate Australia on the following aspects? (top 2 box)

Base: 2011 n=948 2010 = 532

36


Favourite destinations Although Australia is the most anticipated country, New Zealand has the edge in experience Best destination visited

Looked forward to the most

28%

Best destination visited

30%

5%

62%

Most looked forward to

0% Australia

20%

17%

20%

10% 10% 5% 13% 40%

New Zealand

60% US / Canada

80% SE Asia

A8a Of all the destinations you have or will be visiting (including the one you are currently in), which one did you look forward to visiting most before you visited? A8b Of all the destinations you have visited so far (including the one you are currently in), which one has been the best? Base: Australia is first destination of many n=233 / Australia is not first destination of many n=277 / Australia has been best so far n=78

100% Other

38


Likelihood to return to Australia Australia

In 2010, 44% said yes that they’d return to Australia for another backpacking trip

Very unlikely 10% Very Likely 29%

Unlikely 12%

Undecided 20%

Likely 29% C7 How likely would you be to return to Australia for another backpacking trip or other holiday within the next 5 years?

Base: All respondents n=948 / n=277

39


Likelihood to recommend Australia vs other countries Australia Unlikely Very unlikely 4% 4%

Over 1/3 said that to get a 5 out of 5 score Australia needs to be cheaper

Undecided 12%

Very Likely 47%

Likely 33%

C11 How likely would you be to recommend Australia as a destination to a friend or colleague? C13c. What Australia needs to do to get 5 out of 5 recommendation Base: All respondents n=948 / Other n=277

In 2010, 90% said yes that they’d recommend Australia to other travellers

90% 40



Backpackers uncovered: What do travellers really think of Australia? (May 2011)