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Flight Centre Year in Travel wrap: $313k cruise trip, $114k hotel booking, 13-leg flight itinerary led FC's biggest bookings

Travel didn’t just return in 2023; it ran riot with revenge, record revenue for some and a bottomless pile of work for others. And who’d want it any other way after a lean spell no one would like to see repeated.

Travel didn’t just return in 2023; it ran riot with revenge, record revenue for some and a bottomless pile of work for others. And who’d want it any other way after a lean spell no one would like to see repeated.

It was no different over at travel giant Flight Centre, which has just released its comprehensive Year in Travel review for 2023. So where did Aussie Flight Centre customers travel most in 2023? Here’s a wrap of the most booked spots.

Top Global Destinations in 2023

  1. Melbourne 
  2. Sydney 
  3. Brisbane 
  4. London 
  5. Bali 
  6. Gold Coast 
  7. Perth 
  8. Singapore 
  9. Adelaide  
  10. Auckland 

Top international flight destinations (32 per cent of bookings)  

  1. London 
  2. Bali 
  3. Singapore 
  4. Auckland 
  5. Fiji 
  6. Tokyo 
  7. Athens 
  8. Rome 
  9. Paris 
  10. Bangkok 

Top domestic flight destinations (68 per cent of bookings) 

  1. Melbourne 
  2. Sydney 
  3. Brisbane 
  4. Gold Coast 
  5. Perth 
  6. Adelaide 
  7. Cairns 
  8. Hobart 
  9. Darwin 
  10. Sunshine Coast 
FLT big hotel bookings

Flight Centre’s booking highlights

Predictably, travel bookings in 2023 were unpredictable. But here are some of Flight Centre’s standout stats in a year full of standout stats:

  • $312,647 was the biggest cruise booking – most likely for someone enjoying an extended sojourn at sea in modest lodgings than in a presidential cabin
  • $113,956 was the biggest domestic hotel booking 
  • $81,350 was the biggest overseas hotel booking
  • The largest booking was for a group of 40 people travelling to Adelaide
  • The average hotel stay was six days, but the longest stay was a hotel booking for just over a year (367 days)
  • In Australia, Flight Centre sold 1,401,041 flights, of which 20 per cent were one-way
  • Flight Centre booked flights for 3,168 babies (and their parents/guardians of course) 
  • The business reserved 7,533 rental cars
  • The northernmost destination booked by Flight Centre customers was Longyearbyen on the Norwegian island of Svalbard
  • The southernmost destination our customers visited was Ushuaia, capital of the Tierra del Fuego region in southern Argentina
  • The most complex “complex air” booking was for a flight itinerary with 13 legs – from Brisbane to Sydney then on to Santiago (Chile), Cusco (Peru) and back to Santiago before heading to Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires, the traveller then flew to Rio de Janeiro and on to London, Lisbon, Casablanca, Doha and Bangkok before returning to Sydney and back to Brisbane
  • 94 per cent of customers opted for a standard tier of insurance, while only six per cent opted for platinum or gold cover for full peace of mind
  • The destination with the most bang for buck in 2023 was Japan, where one Australian dollar bought an average of around ¥95.14. The Aussie dollar also fared well against the South Africa rand [R11.95 = AU$1], Norway’s krone [6.97 kr = AU$1], Sweden’s krona [6.95 kr = AU$1] and the South Korean won [₩861 = AU$1].
 Flight Centre

What’s hot for 2024?

Flight Centre also predicted Australian travellers’ top spots for 2024. Behind London, it forecasts these destinations to have a great year for Aussie jetsetters.

  1. Singapore 
  2. Bali 
  3. Auckland 
  4. Fiji 
  5. Hawaii 
  6. Tokyo
  7. Dubai 
  8. Phuket 
  9. Bangkok 
  10. Rome

Compare 2023 to last year in Flight Centre’s Year in Travel wrap for 2022.

Earlier this month, more than 500 Flight Centre brand team leaders from around the world gathered in Brisbane for a first-of-its-kind global conference. Read about that here.

In July, more than 400 Flight Centre leaders gathered for the first time since 2019 in Brisbane to help launch the “next chapter” in the brand’s evolution.

So what’s the point of travel anyway? Discover why we think travel matters more than ever.

Earlier this year, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) reported a strong FY23 result, underpinned by a more than two-fold increase in total sales, with its leisure and corporate arms delivering more than $10 billion each in annual total transaction value (TTV) for the first time.