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Overseas holiday-makers choose cities, historical sites

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013, sample size n = 2,414.
Australians holidaying overseas do a lot of things, but city and historical experiences tend to dominate — with shopping, going to restaurants, and visiting historical sites, museums, parks and gardens among the most popular activities.

In the 12 months to September 2013, 43% of Aussies holidaying overseas visited at least one city, 44% went shopping, and 42% dined at restaurants. Furthermore, 39% visited historical places, 35% went to museums, and 32% went to gardens or parks. Of course, there was plenty of cross-over between these activities, with many travellers doing several on the same trip.

Only 33% of New Zealanders visited a city when holidaying overseas, with 28% visiting historical sites, and 22% going to museums. Shopping (52%) and dining out (42%) were the most popular overseas holiday activities for New Zealanders; their most popular overseas destination was Australia.

Activities undertaken on last overseas holiday

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013, sample size n = 2,414.

Jane Ianniello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“By their very nature many overseas destinations offer historical experiences. Home to great cities such as London, Paris, and Rome, Europe’s main appeal to Australians is its celebrated historical legacy: 62% of Aussies holidaying in Europe visit cities, 62% go to historical sites and 63% visit museums. 

“By contrast, island destinations such as Fiji, Hawaii and Bali offer more of a beach paradise experience, complemented by restaurants and shopping. These destinations compete directly with iconic Australian favourites such as Surfers Paradise, Noosa, Byron Bay and the Whitsundays.

 “Destination marketers and tourism organisations need to understand what kinds of experiences their target market is seeking on their overseas holidays so as to tailor appropriate messages that inspire them to book a holiday.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Jane Ianniello
International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure
Office: +61 (7) 3318 7000
Mobile: +61 423 024 412

Image credit: Flickr, Jorga Lascar

Related Research Reports

Click here for a profile of Australians who have undertaken specific holiday activities – e.g. Cities Holiday,Backpacker HolidayHistorical Places HolidayNightclubs/Bars/NightlifeGarden/Park Holiday, and many more. These profiles provide an overview of their demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage.  

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to access an extensive range of Travel and Tourism Reports, including ourHoliday Destination Preference Profiles and our Holiday Destination Visitor Profiles.  

About Roy Morgan Research

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

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

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%