Six months ago, we never would have imagined that planning a holiday, jumping on a plane or spending a few weeks abroad would be such a far-fetched concept.
While having a holiday might not seem like a priority right now, there’s no denying that taking time to detach from work and the stresses of everyday life is important to our wellbeing.
We know that many of us are itching to get back out there as soon as it’s safe, which is why now is the perfect time to cast your mind forward and consider your holiday for next year.
At the beginning of 2020, despite bushfires and the initial rumbling of COVID-19, the domestic overnight tourism market showed considerable growth compared to 2019, with overnight spend up 6 per cent to $78.8 billion and overnight trips up 3 per cent to 112.3 million.
But forget typical overcrowded “hotspots” like Sydney, the Gold Coast and Melbourne – because new research shows all eyes – and search engines – have one place in common.
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In a new study conducted by online travel platform Skyscanner,Broome has come in as the third most searched location by Australians for anywhere in the world. That means it’s more popular for possible holiday-makers than Sydney, Thailand and even Bali.
Speaking to news.com.au, senior director for APAC at Skyscanner Paul Whiteaway said 2021 interest was seeing a surge as domestic borders start to reopen and travel starts to feel achievable once again.
“Australia is a nation of travel lovers and whilst they haven’t been able to visit many of their best-loved destinations this year due to ongoing travel restrictions, we are seeing growing interest in 2021 searches and bookings,” he said.
“Postponed cultural events along with postponed holidays and pent-up wanderlust combine for an interesting year for Aussie travellers, with long-haul and regional travel destinations in the top 10 list, particularly in the height of the summer school holidays.
“Broome has shot up 15 places in the rankings compared to last year, suggesting Australians are keen to rediscover their own beautiful beaches in their own backyard, as it overtook Bali as the most booked beach destination.”
Broome has become a growing holiday hotspot for Western Australia, with passenger traffic on the Perth to Broome air route rating as the fastest growing in Australia for the 2018 financial year.
Publicity – as well as featuring heavily in Australian celebrity and influencer Instagram feeds – has helped focus travellers on the remote town.
Mr Whiteaway said Broome’s pristine and uncrowded beaches rated among the world’s best, and with overseas travel likely to remain off the cards well into 2021, the region’s outback meets tropical flair will see similar regions around the country soar in the next 12 months.
“With restrictions in place across many parts of the world, the rules have an impact on where people choose and we are seeing people who are looking to get away respond to the shifting travel landscape,” he said.
The list showed that London was the most searched destination for 2021, while Tokyo came in at number two followed by Broome.
Bali was down two spots from 2019 at fourth position, while Sydney rounded out the top five most searched holiday spots for 2021.