Australian Tourists Are Big Spenders on Nightlife

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Australian tourists are the highest spenders globally on experiences and nightlife, spending nearly one out of every five holiday dollars on these activities, a report has found.

The annual report on global travel trends released late on May 16 by the Mastercard Economics Institute, a unit of the credit card giant, found Australian tourists spend 19 percent of their holiday cash on those activities, compared with a global average of 12 percent.

“There is a difference in preferences, when folks from Australia are travelling around, they are doing it more for the experiences—that is more of the preference, rather than the retail therapy,” Mastercard chief economist David Mann told AAP.

The report draws on aggregated anonymised data from Mastercard customers to examine their spending while abroad.

It found Fiji, Bali, Tokyo, Queenstown, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Osaka had gained the most momentum with Australian travellers since the COVID-19 pandemic when comparing their share of flight bookings in recent months with a similar period in 2019.

Mr. Mann said it was no surprise that two destinations in Japan were gaining popularity with Australian travellers, given the yen is near a 17-year low against the Australian dollar.

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“We’ve been seeing the extra incentives to picking Japan over other places just because it is so relatively cheap, and it also has all of the things that people are looking for in terms of the experiences of dining, or going on skiing holidays, and there’s the cultural things that you can do that are relatively unique,” he said.

As far as inbound tourism, the report found Australia has been attracting more tourists from New Zealand, the U.S., South Korea and India, the last of which has been booming.

“Part of the reason we feature India so heavily in this report is that we see that travellers from India eventually will be or could be as important for various destinations as travellers coming in from China today,” Mr. Mann said.

“It’s a place with rapid growth, middle-class evolution, and demand for travel. The number of planes being ordered is large, and so the capacity is going to go up a lot.”

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