The new CATO report shines a spotlight on Australian’s holiday habits and reveals what age group is most likely to book with wonderful travel agents, such as yourself.

The Council of Australian Tour Operators’ (CATO) has recently unveiled a new benchmark report into Australia’s outbound leisure market; providing new insights into the activities and intentions of overseas holidaymakers.

Sounds like gold right?

Well, it is! It includes all the information you need to know as a travel professional right now!


What does the report show?

CATO Report CATO Report

The report shows that in 2018, Australian holidaymakers took 6.3 million overseas leisure trips and spent more than AUD$46 billion in total and an average of AUD$7,300 per person.

Customers visited an average of 3.4 countries per vacation and enjoyed an average of 22 days on holiday per trip.

Longer trips = more exotic destinations = more awesome things to do = more commission!

In terms of destinations, South East Asia was the most popular region for a break (accounting for 35% of all holiday departures) and Indonesia the favourite country, well ahead of the United States and New Zealand.

While the appeal of an overseas holiday was strong across almost all age groups, the report reveals that older travellers (51+ years) tended to operate with larger holiday budgets, took longer breaks and were more inclined to explore long-haul destinations such as Europe.

It also highlighted the fact in 2018 almost a quarter of Australians travelled alone on a holiday.


CATO Managing Director Brett Jardine says that the new report does more than conveniently bring together a broad range of data.

He believes it establishes a platform which the industry can now use to monitor changes in Australians’ overseas travel habits – from where they like to holiday to how much time and money they spend, and how this compares across different age categories.

“In that sense, the value of the report will only grow each year as it reveals new and emerging trends that help us understand the changing behaviours of Australia holidaymakers.”

Brett Jardine, CATO Managing Director


Who is most likely to use a Travel Agent?

CATO Report

Much to everyone’s surprise, the report showed that people aged between 18-35 are 36% more likely to go offline when booking their next holiday, as opposed to 32% who said they were more likely to book online.

In those aged 36-50, 27% said they’re most likely to book offline and 35% that would rather book online and the gap closes significantly for 51-60 with 28% saying offline and 30% preferring to book online.

People between 61 and 70 are great clients to have, with 46% saying they book offline and 32% saying online, but the 71+ age group are most likely to book with travel agents, with 55% saying they are more likely to book offline and 12% opting to go online.

Click here to read the full Australians on Holiday – International Leisure Travel Trends report.