News Corp sees interest in international travel double, adds 3 new commercial products

News Corp Australia today released findings from its News Travel Network Consumer Trend Forecast for January to June 2022, which provides an insight into the 10 million Australian travellers who engage with News Corp Australia’s brands every month.

News Corp Australia’s managing director, food and travel, Fiona Nilsson, said the second Consumer Trend Forecast, was more crucial than ever as travel looks finally set to begin a proper recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The past year has dramatically changed the way we travel and how we think about travel, and there is no doubt that there is still a long road to recovery but we are seeing positive signs. The interest in international travel destinations has doubled on our sites in the last quarter, with 38% of destination traffic now generated by international content. This is from an all-time low of 19% for the previous two quarters.

“We also took the decision, based on the ever changing fluctuations in travel interest across our brands, to present the survey data on destinations given this was tested only two weeks prior to the event. New Zealand, USA and England are the top intended destinations in the next 12 months.”

Using the behavioural data from the News Travel Network audience, combined with a recent consumer survey of just under 1,000 respondents the biannual Trend Forecast is overlaid with global and domestic research and the insights of the company’s senior travel editors to predict the key consumer travel trends that will shape the next six months.

Nilsson also announced the launch of commercial products focused on video and data, evolving the News Travel Network’s video proposition to inspire, aid consumer planning and even book from within video content, and continue to enrich targeting options through the News Connect platform.

Interactive Itinerary – A new interactive video format to assist consumers in the planning phase. Having selected the relevant tour or experience, the content is designed to promote all elements and inclusions plus drive further discovery and enquiry through branded elements. Creating unparalleled engagement with audiences who control their pathway through the content with relevant information and links to help them plan.

Bookable Video – Branded travel video content creates opportunity for a variety of interactive touchpoints and all within the video player experience. Allowing audiences to engage directly with contextually relevant products, brands have the ability to add information links to an inspirational list, provide more information on a destination, drive consumers to enquire or enter a competition and importantly, give consumers the opportunity to book the latest hot deal.

News Corp Australia’s managing director, food and travel, Fiona Nilsson, discusses the three commercial opportunities during the virtual event

Travel Targeting – An audience target tool using a raft of new first party data segments via the News Connect platform from next week. There are 128 new segments including people with a high level of intent on destinations, accommodation, travel type and interests.

Along with the destination information and consumer trends, four key insights were identified to assist the travel industry with their planning. Appetite to travel is bigger than ever but demand is still very short-term. 68% of travel intenders are still yet to book anything for their next holiday.

Half of Australians still lack confidence in international travel but those under 40 represent a significant opportunity. 70% of 18-39 year-olds have some level of confidence in booking international travel. Travel may be opening but complexity means expertise is a currency to be traded on. One in three travellers agree that due to the complexity in travel now, they are seeking expert help more than ever.

In addition, travel motivators and what Australians are seeking in a travel brand are still anchored in the impacts of COVID and lowest price is not a deciding factor. Top travel motivators are about safety, connection or getting away from stress. Top reasons for selecting a travel company is for value, reliability, flexibility, customer service, with lowest price ranked 9th on a list of 13.

Consumer survey key takeouts

Travel consumer trends identified, the return to planning. The prospect of international travel is re-energising Australians and confidence is starting to return with 49% of Australians surveyed currently confident in booking overseas travel.

The data also indicated that travel planning is extending beyond the next holiday. Over the next 24 months, consumers intend to take an average of nine holidays, four within their home state, three interstate and two internationally. On average, 24% are currently planning and booking for two holidays and 21% are organising three or more trips.

The advice of experienced travel advisors will be more sought after, especially when it comes to navigating COVID rules and regulations in other countries with 46% of overseas travel intenders saying the complexity of travelling means they are seeking expert help more than ever.

According to the research, the return to planning has also seen travellers ‘experience-stacking’, cramming as many experiences as possible into one trip to make the most of their holiday. Pent-up demand and delayed gratification has culminated in the ‘mega-trip’ for consumers as 48% see travel as an opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences that they’ve missed due to COVID and for 54% it is about having as many experiences as possible. The types of experiences vary by destination. For domestic trips, Australians are seeking quality time with loved ones, sightseeing, beach and coastal experiences, and nature and wildlife. For overseas trips, Australians are pursuing sightseeing, spending time with loved ones, cultural attractions and events and shopping are the top experiences sought.

Australians who are travel planning will have destinations secondary to the purpose or occasion. Consumers have missed or delayed celebrating big life moments and have spent limited quality time with family and friends. Travel provides the opportunity to re-engage and truly appreciate loved ones. Almost one in three consumers intend to take more multi-generational family holidays, this is being driven by millennials – 46% amongst 25-39 year-olds. Among the multi-generational family holiday intenders, 8% consider it important to make up for and celebrate missed milestones through travel. These milestone and multi-generational holidays will see holiday makers trading up in accommodation and experiences to accommodate the diversity of needs and interests within the extended family unit.

A year where people have experienced emotional upheaval and a sense of ‘feeling stuck’, some travellers will be looking to expand their boundaries and step outside their comfort zone. From thrill seeking adventures, to physically or mentally challenging activities and integrating into new cultures and communities. 40% place high importance on learning, challenging themselves and growing through their travels.

This sentiment is highest amongst 18-39’s and also high income households. For these self-enrichment travellers, the experiences they are more likely to seek on their next holiday include: adventure and active experiences, festivals and sporting events. When choosing an international destination for a future trip, Australians are more likely to choose a destination they have ‘never visited before’ (at 41%) over a destination they ‘visit regularly’ (at 33%).

The News Travel Network is Australia’s largest travel media network. Made up of brands such as Escape, Travel, and The Australian’s Travel+Luxury, Australians turn to the network to dream, plan and then book their travel experience with confidence.


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