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Hotel/resort early adopters: the tourism industry’s most wanted?

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015–March 2016 (n=10,134).

We’ve all got one: a friend or family member who always seems to know the latest and greatest place to stay while on holiday, and manages to get there before the rest of us even start considering our accommodation options. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that not only does 8% of the population 14+ qualify as ‘Early Adopters’ in this respect, frequently being the first of their friends and family to try a new hotel or resort, but these people represent a golden opportunity for the tourism industry.

In the 12 months to March 2016, 13.5 million Aussies 14+ went on at least one holiday. Of these, 1.2 million agreed that they’re ‘often first to try a new hotel or resort’. Indeed, on their last holiday, 16.6% of these early adopters stayed at a luxury hotel or five-star resort, making them more than twice as likely as the average Australian holiday-maker (7.2%) to have done so.

Meanwhile 18.5% stayed at a four-star hotel or resort: again, a considerably higher proportion than the national average (13.7%).

Accommodation used on last holiday: Early Adopters vs average Australian travellers


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015–March 2016 (n=10,134).

But this isn’t to say that these hotel/resort early adopters limit their options: they’re open to many possibilities, and are also more likely than the average Aussie holiday-goer to rent a fully self-contained flat/unit (11.3% vs 9.0%) or a serviced apartment (8.1% vs 5.2%) while on holiday.

However, while they may be first to try a new hotel or resort, and show a higher likelihood of renting self-contained units or serviced apartments while on holiday, these people come in below average for staying with friends/relatives -- being almost 20% less likely than the average Australian holiday-goer (27.9% vs 34.5%) to have chosen this option on their last holiday. Motorhomes/campervans, tents/camping, B&Bs and cabins are also all distinctly less popular with this segment.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“People who are often the first of their family and friends to try a new hotel or resort are typically (but not always) young couples or singles, aged between 25 and 34 years or (to a slightly lesser extent) 35-49 years.  An above-average proportion of them are from the better-off end of the socio-economic spectrum, which can of course come in handy when looking to stay at a trendy new resort or high-end hotel.

“Perhaps even more relevant is the fact that these people tend to be passionate and proactive about their holidays all round. On top of their early-adopting approach to accommodation, they are markedly more likely than the average Aussie holiday-goer to agree with such attitude statements as ‘it only feels like a holiday if I leave Australia’, ‘I sometimes organise holidays on behalf of my family and friends’, ‘For my next holiday I’d like a total ecotourism experience’ and ‘I like to go away on weekends’.

“Naturally, these travellers represent a potentially lucrative opportunity for many accommodation providers, destination marketers and other tourism operators. With the detailed data contained in Roy Morgan’s Holiday Tracker, it is possible to learn more about them – from their preferred destinations to their media consumption habits and leisure activities – and use this enhanced understanding to tailor exactly the right kind of communications to attract them...”

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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%