Australian Travel Trends

Descending towards the Utia Scotoni Hut, The Dolomites
Descending towards the Utia Scotoni Hut, The Dolomites

Australian Travel Trends

Skyscanner's Released a Report on How Aussies Like to Travel...Does an Active Holiday Make the Cut? 

Skyscanner, an online aggregator of flight prices, has just published their annual Australian Travel Trends 2020 Report. Skyscanner have analysed their ridiculous amounts of data to try to explain how Australians will be travelling in the future. They’ve come up with six key travel trend types. We thought we’d see how a UTracks active holiday holds up against Skyscanner’s crystal ball...

1. Sustainable Tourism

Skyscanner says: Travelling sustainably is gaining more awareness, as indicated by a 103% year on year increase in interest for more eco-friendly trips. The Sustainable Traveller is someone who makes conscious decisions based on how their choices affect the environment...At every destination, they make sure to support local establishments, uphold their own green practises like reducing linen changes and taking public transport, walking and cycling to experience their destination better. They are spearheading a new wave of modern travel.

UTracks says: We agree on all levels. Walking and cycling does allow you to experience a destination better. A great by-product of an active holiday is that you get to discover less visited regions and spread the tourist dollar to local businesses that wouldn’t normally get it. Like on the Prague to Dresden Cycle where we visit Czech towns outside of Prague, such as Melnik (in the heart of Czech wine region), Litomerice (a royal city considered one of the most beautiful in the country) and Decin (a lovely city split by the Elbe River that features the recently restored Decin Castle).

Finish your week-long cycling trip in the majestic city of Dresden

2. Transformative Journeys

Skyscanner says: Travel truly has the power to change us in so many ways and no one understands this more than the Transformative Traveller. Recording a 44% year on year increase in interest on personal growth and charity-related trips, Australia has the largest share of travellers interested in embarking on transformative trips...Transformative Journeys take many forms but they must all have meaning. 

UTracks says: Is there a trail out there that’s been attributed to more meaningful and life changing experiences than the Camino? People have walked or cycled the Camino for many reasons – religion, grief, camaraderie, perspective, a sense of achievement...the list goes on. Whether you do it in Spain, Portugal, France or Italy, a Camino experience is unforgettable.

Pilgrims walking the Camino in Spain |  <i>Sue Finn</i>

3. Adventure Travel

Skyscanner says: Who’s ready for a real adventure? Defined as trips that involve some element of risk, special skill with physical exertion or extreme sport, Adventure Travel is growing increasingly popular with adrenaline junkies chasing new experiences in remote or exotic locations. Whether it is climbing up, jumping off or hiking through different terrains, Adventure Travel allow them to push their limits outside of their comfort zones. 16% of trips by Australian travellers are slated to be adventure-based, an increase of 17% from such trips taken this year.

UTracks says: Hmm, while we don’t quite agree with their definition of what adventure travel is, we do like the idea of pushing the limits of a comfort zone. For many travellers who are used to the ‘click and tick’ style of travel, simply participating in an active holiday is an adventure in itself. We’ve also got our honest Trip Grading System in place where we grade our trips from a relaxed Introductory pace, all the way up to a sweaty-but-smiling Challenging grade.

Cycling through the villages of Provence |  <i>Erin Williams</i>

4. Slow Travel

Skyscanner says: Have you ever returned from a holiday feeling tired and in need of another? You’re not alone. Our data shows a 20% year on year increase in Aussie travellers wanting to slow down and prioritise quality over quantity during their 2020 holidays. Originating from the Slow Food Movement, Slow Travel emphasises on connecting with the location, your travel mates and a leisurely way of living. From one week, to once-budget-runs-out, Slow Travel welcomes long walks and unscheduled activities for those who are not in a hurry and want to prioritise rest over sightseeing.

UTracks says: Slow travel is the perfect way to properly get under the skin of a destination. While all of our trips focus on making a connection with your surroundings, Slow Travel is best exemplified by our Centre Based Walking or Cycling style of travel. This is an active holiday where you base yourself in one destination and explore the nearby trails and sights. The Loire Valley Castles Centre Based trip is a prime example: on this holiday you settle in the small French town of Chitenay and, armed with a bike, maps and route notes, can discover the region’s famous chateaux, medieval towns, forests and vineyards. The best part is you only have to unpack once!

Chateau d'Artigny

5. JOMO Trips

Skyscanner says: If you think it sounds familiar, that might be because you’ve heard of its cousin, FOMO. JOMO, or the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’, is choosing to enjoy your trip instead of worrying about how it looks on social media. The JOMO Traveller is particular about escaping the hustle, opting to travel off-season to alternative destinations to avoid crowds and other Aussie holiday revellers. The ability to explore a place before it gets too popular is probably why JOMO trips are recording a 31% year on year increase among Aussie travellers.

UTracks says: LOL to the travellers who aren’t travelling for their own enjoyment. At UTracks, we constantly add to our extensive range of walking, cycling and boat based trips because there’s a strong desire from our travellers to keep experiencing more off the beaten track destinations. This is why we have some 30 new trips that go to alternative active destinations. Like the Via Degli Dei from Bologna to Florence in Italy, or the High Trails of the Balkans that features our first trips in Kosovo and Albania. And, to be honest, even if you do one of our more popular trips such as the Tour du Mont Blanc, you won’t come across crowds that detract from your experience.

Crossing the border from Kosovo to Montenegro on the High Trails of the Balkans

6. Local Gastronomy

Skyscanner says: Who’s hungry? Aussies, it seems. Food-motivated trips are likely to make up 11% of trips, up 23%. After all, the quickest way to get to know a place and bond with locals is through food and the Local Gastronomist knows this well. Before travelling to a destination, they would have researched online, watched every foodie show, and asked everyone for recommendations. While they are there, they’d probably chat with local cabbies and service staff with gusto to get their uniquely local picks. From 3-Michelin-star restaurants to street food stalls, the Local Gastronomist isn’t picky with where the best eats are… as long as every bite is worth it. 

UTracks says: The best part of an active holiday is, without a doubt, the guilt-free indulging of Europe’s finest foods and drinks at the end of a day! We have our three popular Food Lover’s Walking Holidays that pairs the scenic Camino trails of Spain, France and Italy with delicious gastronomy. These specially guided trips take the exploration of local cuisine to the next level: travellers get to visit ancient vineyards, learn local secrets at hands-on cooking classes, feast on regional gourmet dishes, and dine in 2-Michelin-star restaurants.

A tasty meal is part of the experience on the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

What are your thoughts on the Travel Trends for Australians? Will you take inspiration from them or have you been travelling this way for years? Let us know in the comments.

Australia, Sustainable Travel, Adventure Travel, Slow Travel, Local Gastronomy, Transformative Journeys, JOMO

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