Australia and Japan Pacific’s Most Desirable Vacation Destinations

Australia and Japan claimed a shared first place in Visa’s international travel survey. The countries were consistently ranked as top Asia-Pacific travel destinations, with one-fifth of respondents keen to holiday in either country. The survey polled frequent travellers from the United States and other international destinations, featuring people aged over 18 years who had booked a trip recently.

Residents of Thailand, Hong Kong, and Mainland China favoured Japan for international travel, claiming that its combination of high-tech cities and natural beauty makes it one of Asia’s leading holiday destinations. Australia ranked highly for similar reasons, albeit with a different audience – residents of the United States, New Zealand, and Britain voted for the country in record numbers.

Climbing into third place, China has gained favour from travellers throughout the Pacific. With low accommodation costs and some of the world’s largest cities along its Eastern coastline, the country’s economic growth has contributed to a boom in international tourism. Visitors from within Asia still make up most of China’s international visitor count, although it is gaining momentum in the West.

Travel habits are of great importance to companies within the Pacific region, as the growing income levels in many countries in the region have lead to an increase in international travel. Key sectors of growth include Thailand and Malaysia, where residents can now afford to travel internationally due to the prevalence of low-cost air carriers and online hotel booking services in the region.

These services can make previously unaffordable destinations such as Japan or Australia within the financial reach of families in the region’s many high-growth developing countries. With marketing budgets tight and occupancy rates relatively low, such information on travel intentions is becoming more valuable to marketers and service-driven travel firms in the region.

Australia’s Interstate Airline Fares Tumble, Spark One-Off Flight Purchases

The cost of travelling within Australia has decreased significantly over the past five months, giving an increasingly large amount of the population access to low-cost fares and simply travel options. A study of airline prices has revealed that passengers in Australia and New Zealand enjoy some of the cheapest in the world, with flight ‘value’ measured in distance travelled and compared to fares.

The value on offers has been most visible throughout June and July, where the low cost of travelling between Australia’s eastern states lead to a surge in short-distance bookings. The most popular route was that between state capitals Sydney and Melbourne, with tickets available for less than $70AUD on many of the country’s leading airlines – pricing rarely seen during peak travel periods.

It’s a similar situation across the Tasman Sea, with air travel prices in New Zealand dropping due to the prevalence of flight comparison services and ‘last minute’ booking agents. Domestic fares within New Zealand rarely surpass $100NZD (£45 GBP) and are a frequent purchase for families that are split between major population centres and small regional towns.

However, the period of ultra-cheap fares isn’t expected to last. Australian low-cost airline Pacific Blue announced its intentions of leaving the New Zealand market, instead focusing on delivering services exclusively to Australian airports. The company is a subsidiary of Virgin Blue, an airline that many believe has been responsible for the rapid fall in Australian air travel prices.

With the continent’s summer drawing nearer and travel plans being finalised, the likelihood of fares remaining at their current point is slim. Those looking to make the most of low-cost fares should be booking while the climate is cold, as the decrease in competition and increase in demand is likely to drive fares up throughout Australia’s summer period.