New Visa research reveals Australians are some of the world’s highest spenders on travel, and they plan to increase their budgets next year


The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study reveals the latest trends among Australians and global travellers

Visa, the global payments technology company, today launched its 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study, in partnership with the Tourism and Transport Forum, highlighting the indispensable role travel plays in the Australian lifestyle and the country’s growing popularity as a global destination.

Australians seek meaningful experiences – and are willing to pay for them
The survey shows the majority of Australians travel for leisure (76%) as opposed to business, with Australians also travelling for education (14%), more frequently than travellers from other countries (6%). Australia’s geographic location and preference for long haul trips shape travellers’ habits, with Australians spending an average of 16 nights away compared to the global average of nine nights. This extra time gives Australians a chance to visit more than one place in the same trip. More than a quarter of Australians (28%) travelled to multiple destinations in a single holiday, while only 12% of global travellers have done so. 

Top destinations in the past two years include the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong and France.

Their commitment to travel is reflected in Australians’ willingness to spend, with a median of US$3,603 per trip. This is the fifth highest spend in the world, after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China and Brazil and exceeds the global median of US$2,281. Australians also plan to increase their travel spend next year, to a median of US$4,501.  

In terms of budgeting approach, Australians share a similar outlook as travellers in other countries and are likely to plan with a budget in mind. However a vast majority of Australian travellers (68%) are also willing to splurge for the best experience during their trip.

“Australians seek out meaningful experiences when they travel overseas,” said Caroline Dempsey, Visa Head of Marketing for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. “They see spending on travel as a worthwhile investment and our study shows they intend to up their budget for future trips.” 

Independent, organised planners
Independent travel remains the most popular arrangement for Australian travellers; almost one in two travellers (47%) preferred this approach over packaged holidays or guided tours. These independent travellers are careful planners. One in two book everything for their trip before their arrival.

“With nearly half of Australians preferring a DIY approach to travel, they seek out destinations that cater for this independent mindset. Getting away from the usual tourist traps is something Australians see as a top priority,” said Ms Dempsey.

Margy Osmond, CEO of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF), said the diverse visitor experiences on offer ensure Australia remains an incredibly popular destination with international visitors.

“With our unique natural environment and our vibrant cities and regions, Australia is a place the world wants to visit,” Ms Osmond said.

“In particular, our location, world-class hospitality and attractions make Australia the perfect destination for travellers coming from Asia.

“As more and more of our Asian neighbours continue to travel abroad, we need to make sure we have the right policy settings in place to ensure they continue to choose Australia as one of their top holiday destinations,” she said.

People and bonding opportunities are the reasons Australians travel
Bonding with their travel companions is the top motivator (15%) for travelling Australians. When asked why they chose a particular destination, 26 per cent of Australians cite people. This differs from travellers from other countries who place the greatest emphasis on the availability of travel activities. Australians are also more likely than the global average (63% vs 58%) to travel with a spouse or partner.

Australia growing in popularity for overseas visitors 
Australia is the fifth most visited destination among worldwide travellers, after the USA, Japan, Hong Kong and the UK. The study shows that the environment and types of activities available are the factors putting these destinations in the top spots.

Australia’s popularity is growing; when global travellers were asked about their wish list of future destinations, Australia ranked third behind the USA and Japan. Among Chinese travellers, Australia is the top intended destination.

“Chinese travellers are the third highest spenders in the world, having increased their travel budgets by 25 per cent in the past two years,” said Ms Dempsey. “Their preference for visiting Australia is an exciting trend for our local tourism industry.”

Click here to download a copy of the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study.

Visa will launch a new national marketing campaign on 10 August promoting the benefits of electronic payments for international travellers. The #notatourist campaign taps into Australians’ desire for authentic travel experiences. The campaign will have a significant digital and out of home presence, tapping into influencers and driving consumer generated content.


About Visa
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit, and @VisaNewsAU.

About the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study
The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study is the most comprehensive survey of its kind that monitors and analyses international travel trends and travel behaviour globally. This year’s study surveyed 13,603 travellers across 25 countries in January and February 2015.

Media contact:
Jillian Friant
02 9253 8811 or 0450 739 035
[email protected]