Skyscanner Reveals Top Destinations & Traveller Trends For Australians In 2021


Abrolhos Islands named best destination for off-the-grid, under-the-radar travel in 2021

Domestic travel is booming as Skyscanner reveals flight searches reached 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began in December 

Travel experts say there are few places with more unique landscapes & fascinating wildlife than the WA’s Coral Coast region, including Kalbarri National Park & Hutt Lagoon (Pink lake) 

SYDNEY, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Skyscanner, one of the world’s leading travel companies, has named the Abrolhos Islands National Park among its best destinations for 2021 for off-the-grid, under-the-radar travel.

With access to a unique set of data and insights, Skyscanner’s 2021 Top Destinations & Travel Trends list was curated using extensive traveller data and insights from expert travel commentators, including predictions on the soon-to-be trending destinations.

Perth is currently the top trending destination for travel in the new year on skyscanner.com.au, with searches increasing 39% week on week. Interest in car hire has also increased (48%) over the past two weeks since state borders began to ease.

Travel experts predict ‘Fly & Drive’ trips from Perth to discover the Coral Coast are tipped to be a sought-after holiday for early 2021 with unique destinations like the Abrolhos Islands catching travellers’ attention.1

Skyscanner’s list also features Japan, South Korea and Greece as some of the international destinations expected to bounce back in popularity for Australian travellers, as soon as it’s safe and possible to travel there, based on flight price analysis as well as recovery rates. 

Paul Whiteway, Senior Director for APAC at Skyscanner comments: 

"A mid-ocean archipelago might seem to be taking social distancing to a new extreme, but the Abrolhos islands are an excellent destination for travellers looking for an undiscovered, off-the-grid travel experience. With international travel is still off the cards for Australians, many travellers are looking to scratch that overseas travel itch and discover new spots closer to home. As a result, we’ve seen domestic flights searches boom as Australians begin to discover their own country. While bucket lists have been reordered to prioritise spots like Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty of less famous destinations that are just as bucket list worthy. Skyscanner hopes that travellers will be inspired to start thinking about future journeys and will be reminded of why we love to travel." 

Skyscanner said that at the beginning of December, for the first time since the pandemic began, Australian flight searches reached pre-pandemic 2019 levels. And with recent news of the vaccine turning many Australian traveller’s hopes to international travel for next year, Skyscanner witnessed a 32% increase in international searches for 2021 travel from April.2 

Skyscanner also surveyed travellers to find out about their aspirations for travel in 2021. When asked what type of trip they were planning to take over half (54%) said they hope to take a long-haul trip as their main holiday in 2021: 

  • 49% said they were planning to spend more money on their next overseas trip than they did before the pandemic.
  • 36% of travellers said being reunited with family and friends was the main reason for travelling again.

Skyscanner’s Top 2021 Travel Trends & Destinations are: 

  • Zooming out – As the world looks to embrace a world beyond the screen, these notification- free nature spots provide the ultimate escape – Atacama Desert Chile, Coral Coast Australia, Scottish Highlands.
  • Sporting Heroes – Japan, South Africa – Almost a year of empty stadiums has led the world to crave the buzz of stadia, couple that with two of the world’s biggest destinations hosting major sporting occasions those considering an atmospheric adventure will look to the land of the rising sun for an excursion of Olympic proportions.
  • Recovery Bubbles’ – South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam – Locations that responded quickly to the virus, maintaining domestic travel ensures their tourism infrastructure thrives, South Korea’s once up and coming international travel scene is expected to bounce back with aplomb.
  • Greece is the word – Whitewashed vistas with deep blue Aegean waters flooded most social media feeds in 2020, Greece firmly placed itself top of almost everyone’s travel wish lists.
  • Swell times ahead – Surfing cruises its way into the Olympics for the first time ever in 2021, with the world embracing outdoor pursuits of the socially distanced variety, California tops the list for swapping sofa surfing for the waves!
  • Don’t forget the classics – 2020 highlighted the resilient popularity of some mainstay destinations that are likely to bounce back the moment their fans can return – New York & The Balearics top the charts.
  • WFP: Working from Paradise – There’s no question the 2020 office looked a little different this but The Maldives, The Caribbean & Mexico look set to host the ultimate 2021 office upgrade.
  • Regenerative Travel – As many consider how their return to travel impacts those communities and ecosystems that rely on travellers Costa Rica, Jamaica & The Azores are leading the way when it comes to conscious travel.

Notes to Editors 

  1. Searches on skyscanner.com.au for flights and car hire between 21/11/20 – 12/12/20 for travel from January 2021. 
  2. All searches for economy, return flights on skyscanner.com.au between 09/11/20 – 23/11/20 or travel from April 2021. 
  3. Skyscanner survey of Australian travellers 23/11/20 (527)

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