Choosing cruises and picking packages

Travel is the number one reason Australians save money, and 7.2 million of them read travel sections in newspapers every month. Newspapers are rated the most useful medium for holiday decisions after online search, providing ideas and trusted advice and delivering proven results for travel brands.

According to emma data, the travel section of a newspaper is read by 7.2 million Australians each month and influences what consumers look for when planning or booking their next holiday.

For many Australians, holidays represent the light at the end of an office-bound tunnel. If you start planning your next holiday the Monday after you get back from your last one, you’re not alone. In fact research shows that on Mondays no less than 1 in 4 people spend time planning their next holiday1.

Traveling is one area where people are good at planning for the future, in fact it’s the number 1 reason people save money, with 57% of Australians putting away their pennies to swap later for Swedish Krone or Vietnamese Dong.

All this time spent planning and saving gives us plenty of opportunity to dream about where we could go. This is evidenced by emma data showing the travel sections in newspapers are one of the most widely read. Emma also shows that 75% of Australians agree they “like to experience new and exciting places”2.

Which makes it all the more surprising that the number 1 destination for Aussies is New Zealand3. The fastest growing destination for Aussies though, is Nepal – its visitation by Aussies is up 37% year on year3.

The number of holidays has tripled in ten years. Infographic_TRAVEL_DIGITAL

The overall growth of Australian travelling has been extraordinary. Over the last 10 years, the number of holidays taken by Australians has tripled3. More than 8 million Australians make international trips each year.

There has been a particularly high growth in over 50’s travelling – the 50-54 age group is now the largest group of travellers3. It’s no longer just the realm of the Aussie backpacker setting out to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting and strangely welcoming world.

Cruising is one of the fastest growing holidays

Conversely, one of the stand out success stories of travel has been cruises – where 8 years of consistent strong growth4 has been driven by expanding the appeal of cruising to younger target markets by upgrading the ships to include open air cinemas, climbing walls and reducing the number of bingo sessions. Australia now has the 2nd highest penetration of cruise holidays of any market in the world (US is #1). Funnily enough it’s the only landlocked territory, the ACT, which leads the way in cruising stats with nearly 6% of them enjoying a cruise each year4.

Cultural snacking

On a broader view, we see a trend to “cultural snacking”, the idea that it’s important to sample other cultures6 – but can we please do it quickly and easily? The cruise approach of a half-day here and half-day there allows a very easy, snack-sized intro to a destination. Some even say that cruising is like travelling – but without the travelling.

Picking Packages and Choosing Cruises

The planning and research for a holiday sometimes takes more time than the holiday itself. Witness the 12 hours spent picking the perfect hotel in Paris, followed by 7 hours spent in the hotel room itself. The journey from research to purchase involves multiple channels. These days, of course, many hours are spent comparing options and prices online. But how do people work out where to go in the first place?

The answer is often found offline. In fact, after online search, newspapers are the number 1 media most useful for holiday decisions with more than a third (34%) of Australians using them to help pick their package or choose their cruise (emma) .

The role of newspaper media to inspire and educate us around new holiday possibilities is well documented. We know that a massive 84% of heavy newspaper readers intend on a holiday in the next 12 months (emma) and of those, 80% have read the travel section in the last 4 weeks (emma) – it’s a key source of ideas. Less well known is newspaper media’s impact on final holiday choices, and online behaviours.

New research shows a high correlation between reading newspapers and visiting travel websites. 60% of heavy newspaper readers have visited a travel website in the last 4 weeks, index 107 (emma).

And there is an even higher correlation between reading newspaper websites and visiting travel websites. In fact as many as 67% of all the people on travel websites have visited a newspaper website in the last 4 weeks, with a huge index of 157 (emma).

Specific case studies also back up this cause-and-effect relationship.

In the UK, a Thomson travel case study showed that 70% of those who recalled the print promotion had then gone online to look up related content7.

In Australia, a NAB travel card case study showed how innovative advertising across newspaper and digital travel content led to the client exceeding their sales forecasts by 500%8.

Tourism Victoria’s newspaper media campaign, “Spotted by Locals” across print, web and tablet led to a 20% increase in visit intention and a 12% increase in Victorian bookings on Stayz.com9 .

Across these diverse pieces of research we can therefore paint a picture of the effect of newspaper media on the travel purchase journey.


1: Newscorp Pulse panel, 2013

2: Emma by Ipsos Media CT Apr2013-Mar2014

3: ABS data 2013

4: Cruise Industry Report, 2012

5: Why have cruise holidays become so popular? – About2Cruise.co.uk

6: DBDNA multigenerational report, from X to Y

7: Thomson Dream Holidays case study on Newsworks.co.uk

8: NAB case study on Newscorpaustralia.com site

9: Tourism Victoria case study on Fairfax’s adcentre.com.au

10: St George Melbourne Institute Household Financial Conditions, 2013

Infographic_TRAVEL_DIGITAL

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