Three quarters of Australians ready to travel overseas when borders open

by James Wilkinson

A new, national report released this week (Oct 28) by Celebrity Cruises reveals that Australians believe it’s time to see the world again with nearly three-quarters (72%) planning to travel overseas once international borders open.

That’s almost back on par with pre-pandemic levels (76% of Australian adults had travelled overseas before the pandemic) and Celebrity Cruises Vice President and Managing Director of Australia and APAC, Tim Jones, said it’s no wonder, as four in 10 (41%) of those planning overseas trips say that not travelling internationally has significantly impacted their wellbeing over the last 18 months.

“This study tells us that Australians’ appetite for international travel has returned with full force; with all-inclusive, multi-destination trips and luxury experiences as trends we expect to grow in 2022,” he said.

“We’re seeing these trends already taking off at Celebrity Cruises – Over half (56%) of international bookings for the 2022/23 season are for Europe and Alaska, with the Mediterranean being the most popular, equating to 40% of bookings.

“Additionally, over 75% of our guests are opting for our more luxury accommodation options, telling us they want to invest in incredible, luxury experiences.”

Dreaming big and ready to spend, Jones said Australian travellers want to make up for lost time, with a third (34%) planning longer, more expensive holidays than usual and multi-destination trips (32%) abroad.

Going far is a top priority, he said, with far flung destinations on the itinerary, including Europe, which holds onto its reputation as an ever popular destination.

Additionally, travelling for leisure in 2022 is a top priority for nearly half of Australian adults (45%), compared with swapping jobs (20%), renovating (18%) or buy a/moving house (17%), as our lockdown passion for DIY and all things home is replaced by travel.

Jones said this is backed by four in 10 Australian travellers (41%) agreeing that not being able to travel internationally has significantly impacted their wellbeing – with women (45%) feeling it more than men (37%).

Australians are banking savings and anticipate spending over $8,000 per person on their next international holiday, with half (50%) already have savings ready for their big trip, while 21% are ready to dip into long-term savings to fund international travel plans.

Top travel trends of interest are all-inclusive trips, cultural immersion holidays and trips of 1+ months duration, while three in ten (31%) would consider a cruise.

Amongst Australians who would consider an overseas holiday, one in three would consider a luxury resort (31%) or a culinary focused trip (30%).

Along with spending big, almost half (43%) will look to choose a luxury holiday experience for their next international stint. Key travel trends have emerged with Australians most interested in all-inclusive trips (33%), cultural immersion (30%), long trips of one or more months in duration (28%), and to visit three or more countries (32%).

Having missed out on two European summers, Aussies dream of travelling far again, with Europe an ever favourite top destination. Aside from the UK (69%), countries of focus are predominantly in the Mediterranean with one in three (29%) of those intending to travel overseas say their top destinations include Italy (74%), Greece (69%), France (61%), Spain (61%) and Portugal (49%).

When it comes to the perfect holiday, the jury is hung, Jones said, with the report indicating Australians want a bit of everything that they have been missing out on.

However, 31% of Australians are likely to consider a cruise holiday when international borders open up again, ultimately ticking all the boxes for the next ideal trip abroad; a multi-destination holiday, all-inclusive luxury, exceptional culinary experiences, cultural immersion tours and something for everyone, regardless of age.

“We’re really looking forward to treating our guests to the holiday they’ve been dreaming of,” Jones said. “From the exciting new 2022 European itineraries, to the unparalleled experiences on board our newest Edge Series ship, Celebrity Beyond, it’s time to reconnect Australians with the world and enable them to Journey WonderFULL with us once more.”

Setting the standard for new-luxury at sea, Celebrity Cruises has a range of itineraries across the globe that have already set sail.

Jones said in particular, the 12-night Portugal, Spain and France itinerary on board the innovative Edge Series ship, Celebrity Apex, is the most popular international voyage with Aussie guests, followed closely by Celebrity Beyond’s maiden voyage to the Greek Islands and Malta for 10-nights.