Many Aussies have had their holiday plans changed dramatically this year, but Southern Cross University tourism expert adjunct Professor Kevin Markwell predicts where punters will choose to holiday locally this year, and how to make the most of it!
“This summer holiday will be very different for many Australians. Jetting off to international destinations such as Bali, Fiji, Vanuatu won’t be happening. VFR travel, that is ‘visiting friends and relatives’, may grow substantially as more people are motivated to reconnect with family and friends rather than being drawn to a particular destination for fun and sun," Professor Markwell says.
"Others may decide to travel to regional destinations which had been devastated by the bushfires that were the first indication that this year was to be like no other. The economies of these towns and villages could certainly use a Christmas-New Year injection of funds! Low-key holidays at caravan parks in coastal villages where the kids paddle about in the shallows and the parents relax may be a popular choice. We know that in times of stress and anxiety, holidays that are low in sophistication and high on relaxation become more popular.
"Still others might decide on a ‘staycation’, staying put in their homes but going on day trips to local beaches or riverside parks; getting to know the local region more, with less travel, less structure. Some regions, like Newcastle for example, have created a ‘Hometown Holiday’ campaign encouraging locals to stay home these holidays.
"Meanwhile Destination Gold Coast is inviting those from around the country to ‘Come and Play’ on the Gold Coast – with ‘local love’ for Australia’s favourite playground. The Northern Rivers region in North-East NSW is alluring holiday makers with accommodation options from seaside resorts to rural retreats and national parks, even hiring a houseboat on the Tweed or Clarence Rivers, while Coffs Harbour is also promoting local adventures such as kayaking, surfing and mountain biking, bushwalking and spectacular lookouts.”
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