Australians stay longer, spend more in Britain: Research highlights importance of Australian travellers and throws up some surprising results

Monday 18 March 2013

Data collected by the UK Office for National Statistics highlights that Australia is the eighth largest generator of international visitors to the UK. However, thanks to Australians staying longer than average (12 nights, compared with 8), Australia is Britain’s fifth largest market in terms of visitor nights and fourth most important market when it comes to spending - with Australians outlaying around AUS $1.5 billion (£1 billion)in 2011.

The typical Australian holiday visit to Britain generates around AUS$1,300 (£900) for the British economy, a figure which more than doubles for business visitors.

‘Australians have long held an affinity for Britain. While many travellers land at Heathrow to revisit long-standing family connections, take in the sights and sounds of London, or escape to the English countryside – what recent research suggests is that Australians are increasingly important to British tourism through their willingness to stay longer, and spend more,’ said Mark Haynes, Marketing Manager Australia for VisitBritain. ‘Underlying the spending power of Australians in Britain, research actually shows Australian holiday visitors have the highest propensity to go shopping during their stay compared with all other major markets.’

The VisitBritain research also delivered some surprising results, shaking off the stereotype of Australians being uncultured lovers of the sun, the beach and lazing around; nearly half of holiday visits from Australia to Britain will include a trip to a museum, and one-in-three a trip to an art gallery. Additionally, research also shows that Australians are nearly twice as likely to go to the ballet, theatre, opera or a musical in Britain compared with other international travellers.

‘While some in Britain may still think of us Aussies as sun loving layabouts, what is really pleasing from this is that research shows Australian’s are actually some of the most likely visitors to Britain to indulge in a bit of culture,’ said Andrea Robinson, Travel Innovation for STA Travel.

Perhaps less surprising was that while Australians appear to be more willing to indulge in cultural activities on holiday, research still indicates that three quarters of Australians holidaying in Britain, or visiting friends or relatives there, end up in a pub at some stage on their trip.

Australian travel trends discovered by VisitBritain:

  • Britain accounted for around 9% of all outbound trips from Australia in 2011 (UNWTO)
  • There has been a 14% increase in the number of visits to the UK over the last five years
  • There are more than twice the number of people from NSW than Victoria that visit the UK every year
  • Four in five Australian holiday visits to the UK also include time in destinations other than Britain.

In addition to analysing key data, VisitBritain is also teaming up with youth and budget travel specialists STA Travel to encourage more Australians to see Britain.

‘Given the strong Australian dollar is providing an incredibly favourable exchange rate and new flight connections making it easier to travel around the nation, there really has never been a better time to see Britain,’ said Andrea Robinson, Travel Innovation for STA Travel.

As part of the STA Travel and VisitBritain campaign, commuters will be offered a “taste of Britain” in Melbourne on Thursday 21st of March at Southern Cross Station and in Sydney on Tuesday 26th of March at Wynyard Park. Both pop-up events will offer passers-by delicious British-themed food and drink give-aways, travel prizes will be up for grabs, and destination experts will be on hand to offer one-on-one advice and info on the latest travel specials to Britain.

Press Contacts:

Paul Manser, Mulberry Marketing Communications

tel +61 (3) 9023 9110


For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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