Trending holiday destinations for Australians over winter

Stephanie Yip 30 June 2017 NEWS

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There’s been a surge in Australian visitors to these adventurous destinations over the past five years.

New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States are consistently at the top of Aussie travel plans. And while it’s doubtful those top three will shift too far down the list anytime soon, there are a few alternate international destinations Australians are gravitating to more and more in the winter months.

After analysing ABS data on Australian overseas travel habits between 2011 and 2016, finder.com.au uncovered that the biggest mover and shaker to our holiday plans is Nepal.

Last year, three times as many Aussies took off to Nepal between June and August compared to 2011, amounting in a 211% visitor surge from Australia.

While it’s possible our thirst for adventure in the Himalayas is on the rise, finder.com.au’s insights manager Graham Cooke reasons this increase is probably attributed to changes in migration. “It’s worth noting that immigration from Nepal to Australia has increased by 28% in the last ten years,” he says, suggesting that Australians taking off for Nepal may be less for leisure and more for family.

Following Nepal, Japan saw the second greatest increase in Aussie travellers. In 2016 alone, the country welcomed over 56,000 Australians to its shores, accounting for a 190% increase in visitors over the past five years. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise however, with numerous budget carriers taking off to the Land of the Rising Sun offering bargain flight deals as low as $249 return from numerous Australian cities.

Brazil came third, though this was likely due to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Similarly, Poland placed fifth, though this was likely due to it hosting the World Youth Day festival in 2016.

Other countries that saw significant increases in Aussie arrivals included Chile, Ireland, Croatia and Canada, but perhaps the most surprising destination on the list was Pakistan. It received the fourth highest increase in visitors over the last five years, despite June to August being persistently plagued by the wet weather of monsoon season.

On the flipside, only five destinations saw a decrease in Australian tourism between 2011 and 2016, with Argentina and Turkey seeing the greatest declines respectively.

Well, we are a nation of travellers, after all.


Countries with the greatest increase in Australian travellers over winter

Rank Country 2011 travellers 2016 travellers Surge
1 Nepal 900 2,800 +211%
2 Japan 19,500 56,500 +190%
3 Brazil 3,000 7,700 +157%
4 Pakistan 2,700 6,900 +156%
5 Poland 5,800 10,700 +85%
6 Chile 1,700 3,000 +77%
7 Ireland 19,700 33,700 +71%
8 Croatia 11,800 19,200 +63%
9 Sri Lanka 12,100 19,400 +60%
10 Canada 36,800 57,500 +56%

Countries with the greatest decrease in Australian travellers over winter

Rank Country 2011 travellers 2016 travellers Change
1 Argentina 2,500 1,300 -48%
2 Turkey 13,600 10,200 -25%
3 Israel 4,700 4,300 -9%
4 Hong Kong 41,600 40,200 -3%
5 Thailand 144,400 139,800 -3%

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