Australians are opting for value-driven experiences in droves, spending big on bucket-list activities domestically but less often with Big Red Group reporting year-on-year experience bookings are up 22 per cent.
Despite or perhaps because of cost of living pressures, Aussies and visitors are leaning into escapism with domestic bucket-list experiences trending as people opt for activities in outer suburbs instead of interstate and city centres.
The parent company of Adrenaline, Experience Oz and RedBalloon, Big Red Group’s first-ever biannual Seasonal Experiences Index for Autumn/Winter 2023 has seen thrill-seeking adventures in particular skyrocket as Aussies seek close-to-home excitement.
The fastest-growing YOY categories include adventure sports (up 1,786%), winter sports (up 658%) and driving experiences (up 355%).
Top-selling experiences for autumn 2023
The top-selling categories in autumn 2023 compared to last year are theme parks (accounting for 18% of all sales), cruises, eating out, day tours and scenic/dining cruises.
Rounding out the top 10 most popular activities are hot-air ballooning, reef/island cruises, watersports, aquariums & zoos and skydiving.
Aussies are still keen to connect with nature – off-grid getaways and cabin retreats outsold glamping stays by more than 56 per cent in autumn 2023.
Food tasting tours are also having a moment with foodies rushing to book farm and market tours. One in particular, an in-water Dining & Oyster Farm Tour, saw an incredible 15,736 per cent uptake in YOY bookings.
Emerging trends for winter 2023
For winter 2023, emerging experiential trends included whale watching (+ 7% YOY in June 2023), Vivid Sydney-themed experiences (+101%) and Northern Territory tours.
Big Red CEO & Co-Founder David Anderson said: “Our first Seasonal Experiences Index tackles the cost of living crisis head-on and allows suppliers to shine a light on areas that are performing well right now.”
“By examining how the financial pressures currently faced by Australians and our international visitors are having an impact on the way they travel and experience new things, we’ve learned that Aussies are still seeking out adventure. They’re just going about it slightly differently at the moment.”
Check out the full report here.
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