With European travel on pause for many, we take a look at where Aussies are blowing their overseas travel budget instead.
After more than a year of lockdowns and border closures, many Australian travellers have had to rethink their plans for an extravagant European holiday. While we may not be able to enjoy a gelato on the Amalfi Coast, go Croatian island hopping or watch a romantic sunset on a Greek beach, our wanderlust is stronger than ever.
To find out where Aussies are splurging their European travel budget, we took a look at the most popular places Luxury Escapes travellers were splashing their cash. Here’s what we found...
Sunseekers: Gold Coast
As soon as winter hits, many Aussies head for the other side of the world, where the days are longer, the beaches are buzzing and the sun is shining. So, it’s no wonder luxe Gold Coast packages proved the most popular for high spenders, accounting for 14% of Luxury Escapes packages purchased over $4,000. It’s the ideal family holiday and the perfect couple’s escape, with a concentration of thrilling theme parks, exceptional restaurants and good weather year-round.
Leading the pack was our package for the five-star Palazzo Versace, the world’s first fashion hotel, boasting a spectacular waterfront location with views over the Gold Coast Broadwater. It’s no wonder travellers were happy to splash their cash here.
Into the Wild: Broome
In second place was Broome, the gateway to the Kimberley.
“There’s something about the colourful landscape, spectacular sunsets and laidback locals that draws travellers from all over,” says Ben McKeon, Luxury Escapes Partnerships and Contracting Manager.
“While Aussies can’t immerse themselves in European culture, it seems we’re turning inwards and choosing to learn more about local Indigenous culture and history.”
Far away from the familiar, with a pleasant tropical climate and strong Indigenous Australian culture, it’s not surprising Broome made up 11% of total Luxury Escapes packages purchased over $4,000.
Many Luxury Escapes travellers made their way up to the adults-only Berkeley River Lodge to enjoy the stunningly secluded Kimberley landscape from their own private villa. This luxe retreat is the perfect wilderness oasis for those seeking adventure off the beaten track, with waterfalls, swimming holes and rugged cliffs on its doorstep.
Island Escape: Queensland Islands & Whitsundays
Why go all the way to the Greek islands for a sailing adventure when we have the Whitsundays right here? 10% of Luxury Escapes packages purchased over $4,000 were purchased in this corner of paradise.
“We are spoilt with such beauty in our own backyard,” says Kristyn Williams, Luxury Escapes Partnerships and Contracting Manager.
“Many travel far and wide to swim in crystal blue waters, watch majestic humpback whales, swim with turtles and snorkel among some of the world’s best reefs – and we have it all right here!”
The popularity of our once-in-a-lifetime Portland Roads private yacht sailing experience through the Whitsundays proved many travellers prefer to be the captain of their own adventure. According to Kristyn, “sailing through the waters in the company of loved ones means you can enjoy the true beauty of the Whitsundays with not a care in the world (or phone reception!).”
Going Troppo: Cairns, Port Douglas & Palm Cove
Sunny Cairns, gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, is another beloved family holiday destination, accounting for 9% of Luxury Escapes packages purchased over $4,000.
Known as the buzzing capital city of Tropical North Queensland, this is the perfect place for lovers of golden beaches, boutique coastal towns and outdoor activities. Many Luxury Escapes travellers flocked to Crystalbrook Bailey hotel to make use of its rooftop pool, daily breakfast and daily dining credit inclusions. Meanwhile, Crystalbrook Flynn was also a popular option thanks to its $50 daily dining credit and Harbour-View room upgrade inclusions.
Overseas Dreamers: Fiji, Maldives & Bali
Many Luxury Escapes travellers are still dreaming of that blissful overseas trip beyond the Aussie borders and are prepared to pre-book their future holidays thanks to our flexible booking policies.
The idea of stretching out on an island beach proved too much of a temptation for many keen travellers, with Fiji accounting for 7% of Luxury Escapes packages sold over $4,000.
“It’s a happy place – from the moment you step foot off the plane you are greeted with the warmest ’bula’ welcome,” says Kristyn Williams.
Many are booking Castaway Island Resort, a gem hidden on a secluded stretch of white-sand beach.
“The resort caters to every desire, whether it’s a family escape or a romantic getaway,” adds Kristyn.
Those keen to tick the Maldives off their bucket list haven’t let border closures stop them from securing their future dream holiday.
Maldives packages accounted for 7% of Luxury Escapes packages sold over $4,000. Our all-inclusive Pullman Maldives Maamutaa package proved most popular, tempting travellers with its barefoot luxury, and unlimited premium drinks and dining.
Aussie holiday favourite Bali is continuing to draw people in, making up 3% of Luxury Escapes packages sold over $4,000. Celebrity-favourite Mulia Villas in Bali’s buzzing Nusa Dua region has still been able to work its magic on Luxury Escapes travellers. This all-suite property boasts nine restaurants and bars and an award-winning spa argued to be one of the best in the world.
Note: Internal data was collected from total purchases over $4,000 with a check-in date from 1 July until December 2022