Lonely Planet Writer

Aussies take advantage of weaker currency with home holiday spree

Australians have taken their own country to heart by holidaying at home in ever-increasing numbers, according to latest research.

Tasmania has become a popular destination for Australians holidaying at home this year
Tasmania has become a popular destination for Australians holidaying at home this year. Image by Adam Selwood / CC BY 2.0

Tourism Research Australia says the drive for Aussies to see their own country was worth AUS$55.7 billion or a rise of 6% on the year before.

The other major reason for staying at home was the comparative weakness of the Aussie dollar with other currencies.

A diver on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the home attractions for Aussies who stay at home to holiday in 2015
A diver on the Great Barrier Reef, one of the home attractions for Aussies who stay at home to holiday in 2015. Image by Tchami / CC BY-SA 2.0

Tourism Research Australia believed that the weaker Australian dollar would lead to a further growth in domestic tourism simply because overseas destinations like the US and the UK were becoming much more expensive.

Four years ago the Australian currency was worth US$1.11 and was even at US$1.08 in 2012 whereas now it’s down to US$0.77 cents.

The Melbourne Herald Sun pinpointed the biggest winner in the home holiday revival with double digit growth was Tasmania, while Victoria and Western Australia also showed up well.

In fact, there was a certain feel-good factor in all states which recorded year-on-year growth in both spending and visiting numbers, although Sydney didn’t fare as well as Melbourne and the Gold Coast also took a tumble in comparative terms.

Although Brisbane hosted the G20 late last year, it hadn’t any appreciable spike in visitor numbers but remains Australia’s third most popular destination behind Sydney and Melbourne.

Melbourne is by far the most expensive city to visit, costing visitors an average $291 a night, $30 ahead of Sydney and $40 ahead of Perth.

Lyndel Gray, the CEO of Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW said he was most encouraged with the findings, claiming that so many towns across Australia depended on tourism as their lifeblood. He said there was a case emerging where parents wanted their children to have the same holiday experiences that they themselves had once had.