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Victoria top state for holidays over New South Wales

Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), Jan 2017 – Dec 2017 (n=10,413), Jan 2015 – Dec 2015 (n=11,184). Base: Australians 14+ who intend to travel within Australia in the next 2 years.
In the highly competitive tourism industry, Victoria has beaten New South Wales for the first time in a full calendar year for intention to travel in the next 2 years. 11.6 million Australians reported in 2017 that they’d like to spend a holiday within Australia in the next 2 years. 

These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey.

In 2017, 3,779,000 Australian’s intended to take a holiday to Victoria in the next 2 years (up 55,000), beating New South Wales at 3,624,000 (down 274,000 from 2015).

States Aussies would like to visit on holidays

Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), Jan 2017 – Dec 2017 (n=10,413), Jan 2015 – Dec 2015 (n=11,184). Base: Australians 14+ who intend to travel within Australia in the next 2 years.

Tasmania was the only state other than Victoria that experienced tourism growth on 2015 figures, up from 515,000 in 2015 to 542,000 in 2017.

More people are travelling interstate to Melbourne than Sydney

Melbourne has retained top spot as the capital city Australians would most like to visit; a position the southern capital has now held for well over a decade. In 2017, 1,558,000 Australians indicated they would like to visit Melbourne, up slightly from the 1,526,000 Australians who nominated Melbourne in 2015.

Sydney is comfortably in second position with 877,000 would-be visitors in 2017, down slightly from 913,000 in 2015, while Brisbane and Adelaide have increased in tourism intention over the last two years.

Capital cities Aussies would like to visit on holiday: 2015 vs 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), Jan 2017 – Dec 2017 (n=10,413), Jan 2015 – Dec 2015 (n=11,184). Base: Australians 14+ who intend to travel within Australia in the next 2 years.

Age-specific vs ageless appeal

Looking at the longer term trends over a 10 year period, Melbourne and Sydney have seen their popularity as potential holiday destinations rise among all age groups, with 25-34 year olds nearly doubling from 2007 to 2017 to visit Melbourne and more than double the 65+ visiting Sydney in 2017. 

Brisbane however has seen an overall decline in young people intending to visit in the next two years, down 42% of 25-34 year olds and 21% of 14-24 year olds. It has however had increase in ages 35+, with a minimum increase of 52%.

Canberra had a surge in both young and old people intending to holiday, up 93% of 14-24 year olds and 90% of 65+, but 35-49 year olds were the only age group to decline over the 10 year trend by 14%.

Capital city preference by Age 2007 vs 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey (Australia), January – December 2007 (n=15,405), January – December 2017 (n=10,413). Base: Australians 14+ who intend to travel within Australia in the next 2 years.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says:

“For the first time, Victoria is the most popular state for travellers Australia-wide intending to visit in a full calendar year, beating out New South Wales who had previously dominated in intention to travel. Favoured destinations like the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula and Philip Island are just a few of the reasons why Victoria prevails for tourists both local and interstate to visit. Moreover, Melbourne yet again beats Sydney for the most travellers intending to travel for holiday in the next two years.

“Melbourne continues its reputation as Australia’s most sought-after capital city travel destination for domestic travellers, with 1,556,000 people intending to visit Australia’s (and the World’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit) most liveable city in the next two years.

“Over the longer term, looking at the trends in age groups and their preference to travel to capital cities offers an interesting look into what drives all people’s travel intention, yet age is just one part of the story, the increasing focus on experiences is another. When overlaying attitudes and lifestyles, income, education, and other segmentation variables, Roy Morgan analyses the key factors that have caused these shifts in holiday intention to each of these destinations.

“The Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey contains all this data and can provide tourism bodies with the detailed demographic segmentation they require to precisely target their marketing strategies and ensure they are up-to-speed on the changing consumer desires and attitudes as Australia increasingly becomes an ‘experience’ driven economy – a change Melbourne has definitively latched onto successfully in recent years.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%