Australia remains a popular destination for international backpackers
according to new research released, Australian Tourist Commission (ATC), Managing Director, Ken Boundy said.
The latest report of "Backpackers Uncovered" research, conducted by TNT
Magazine and Student Uni Travel, reveals that 93 per cent of backpackers
surveyed indicated that visiting Australia was the main attraction of an
extended trip. In addition, 95 per cent indicated they would recommend Australia as a 'must-see' backpacker destination to family and friends.
Mr Boundy said the research highlights the importance of the backpacker
market to Australia's tourism industry and the need to provide first class
tourism product for all types of travellers to Australia.
"Backpackers continue to be an important market for Australia and currently
represent 10 per cent of all visitors to Australia," he said. "More importantly,
the backpacker market offers a potentially high proportion of repeat visitors
"Today's backpacker is tomorrow's planner of a family holiday or business
traveller. The current research indicates that 74 per cent of backpackers
surveyed intend to visit Australia again, with 36 per cent indicating they will
definitely visit again in the next five years.
"Once backpackers have visited Australia they realise that the country offers
a wide range of experiences and holidays for all types of travellers. We need
to ensure that the experience we provide backpacking travellers is unique
and exceeds expectations to ensure we can welcome them back to Australia
with their family or friends in later years."
The ATC has a number of marketing initiatives promoting Australia to
backpackers around the globe, particularly in the key markets of the UK,
Germany and the US.
Mr Boundy said the research also reveals some interesting planning and
travel behaviour trends in the backpacker segment.
"According to the findings, 44 per cent of backpackers are using the internet
to plan and research their visit to Australia, while 14 per cent used the
internet to book flights to the destination and 12 per cent use it to book
accommodation," he said.
"The level of internet use for booking travel highlights the growing
importance of the medium to communicate to this segment.
"Backpackers are also making their travel bookings close to departure date
with half purchasing their ticket to Australia within two months of visiting the
destination. The trend towards booking travel online will see this trend
"Good news for the industry is that the majority of backpackers surveyed
(62 per cent) plan on staying in Australia for six months or more, and over
half intend to spend $8,000 or more during their stay.
"Another important trend is that while most backpackers visit Australia's
east coast they continue to visit Australia's regional areas, with more than
one third indicating they definitely intend to visit other states in Australia."
Other highlights of the study
9 in 10 surveyed were between 18-30 years, with an equal split of males and females
7 in 10 of those polled were travellers from Western Europe, with 41 per
cent from the UK
46 per cent of backpackers travel alone
Sydney is the main arrival port for backpackers visiting Australia, with 54
per cent of arrivals coming through the city, followed by Perth with 15 per
cent of arrivals, Melbourne 13 per cent, Brisbane 9 per cent, Cairns 5 per
cent, Darwin 3 per cent and Adelaide 1 per cent.