IT'S IN: A Sneak-Peek at CATO's 2019 Holiday Travel Data

CATO has just released preliminary findings on the holiday travel habits of Australians during 2019. There are good stories across the board—6.5 million outbound leisure trips!—and we think you’ll be as surprised as we were by the age groups that saw the least and the most growth.

CATO has just released preliminary findings on the holiday travel habits of Australians during 2019. There are good stories across the board—6.5 million outbound leisure trips!—and we think you’ll be as surprised as we were by the age groups that saw the least and the most growth.

The information collated by CATO uses Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data based on the primary destination visited within each trip and will form the basis of a more detailed report to be released in April 2020.

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CATO Managing Director, Brett Jardine said, “The ABS figures are based on availed travel so are not reflective of movements since the coronavirus outbreak in December 2019.”

“CATO members remain positive and are well equipped to handle the inevitable influx of new business expected from resilient Australian consumers once concerns over the coronavirus settle.”

Brett Jardine

CATO Managing Director, Brett Jardine.

With the complete 2019 data set, CATO now has two years of statistics from which to draw detailed year-on-year comparisons. So, what did those numbers reveal?

Outbound leisure travel growth exceeds overall outbound travel by Australian residents

  • Total outbound travel by Australian residents in 2019 was 11.3 million trips, up 2.3%
  • Total leisure travel by Australian residents in 2019 was close to 6.5 million trips, up 2.6%
  • Leisure travel in 2019 represented 58% of all outbound travel by Australian residents

All age categories experienced YOY growth for leisure travel in 2019

  • 18-35 age group showed the smallest growth, up 0.3%
  • Australia’s elderly (aged 71+) delivered the strongest growth, up 10.6%!

It turns out that Australia’s elderly were great travellers in 2019.

All major regions except for the America’s showed a YOY increase in leisure travel by Australian residents

  • The strongest growth is leisure travel to North Africa and the Middle East, up 16.1%
  • The Australian age group showing the most interest in travel to North Africa and the Middle East in 2019 is the 61-70 years group, up 42% over 2018
  • North East Asia also showed above market growth with leisure travel up 7.7%
  • Within the North East Asia figures, Japan showed a 19% increase over 2018

Japan was a star performer for Australian holidaymakers in 2019.

“This early snapshot of 2019 traveller data is really pleasing. We look forward to dissecting it further and drilling down deeper during production of the next edition of CATO’s Australians on Holiday report,” added Jardine.

To review CATO’s 2018 Australians on Holiday international leisure travel trends report CLICK HERE.

How was 2019 for your business?