West Aussies are discovering their State
As winter chills closed in on the South West, West Australians looked to the north for their mid-year holiday destination.
With Australia’s usual international getaways closed due to travel restrictions, Booking.com’s search engine recorded a significant increase in Aussie popularity for destinations such as Kalbarri, Exmouth and Coral Bay leaving usual South West holiday location in the dust.
Booking.com area manager for Australia Luke Wilson said border restrictions have resulted in many West Australians travelling intrastate for a winter holiday sun fix.
“We’re seeing further afield destinations in the north of the state rise up the ranks in searches on Booking.com as travellers plan longer escapes to regional WA instead of overseas holidays.”
“We’ve seen a significant increase in West Australians looking to head north for their next trip, more so than at this time in previous years.”
With travel restrictions impeding Australia’s usual getaway locations of the Pacific Islands and Bali, Mr Wilson believes West Aussies are looking for the next best thing.
Mr Wilson said search results on the site for Bali dropped substantially in July by 50 places from the top 100 most searched destinations, with WA searches coming into the top 20.
Margaret River Busselton Tourism association co-chief executive Steve Harrison said whilst July school holidays were very busy for the South West, a significant decline in visitation and spend was noticed since then.
“The north will be experiencing additional demand this winter and this will certainly have been boosted by those who might have otherwise looked to take a longer holiday in Bali or elsewhere in South East Asia,” Mr Harrison said.
Despite a decline in visitation for the winter months, the Margaret River destination website is marking an increase in engagement and new visitation compared to last year presenting high WA market interest in visiting the region.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the South West was “like summer in terms of bookings” with many visitors travelling to other destinations like Albany due to such overwhelming demand.
“Interstate and international travel restrictions mean the State has a whole new market of intrastate travellers – many who haven’t taken regular holidays in WA for decades.”
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