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Fewer Australians taking ‘family’ holidays

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), December 2002 – November 2003 n=15,077, December 2012 -, November 2013 n = 10,449.
You may not be able to choose your family, but you can choose whether or not to take a holiday with them. And with the traditional nuclear family unit gradually becoming less prevalent in Australia, a declining number of Aussies are taking holidays with their kids, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show. Travelling alone or with other relatives, however, are on the rise.

Of the 10,831,000 Australians who holidayed at least once in the 12 months to November 2013 and specified who they went with, 36% travelled as a couple on their last holiday, the same level as a decade ago. Only 26% travelled as a family with children, down from 29% in November 2003. Meanwhile the proportion of people travelling alone on their last holiday rose (14%, up from to 12% in 2003) as did those who holidayed with other family members (from 12% to 13%).

Travel companions on last holiday


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), December 2002-November 2003 (n = 15,077); December 2012-November 2013 (n = 10,449)

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

“Lately, some family-focused destinations, such as the Gold Coast with its theme parks and beaches, are suffering from the declining family holiday market. Indeed, our data shows that the Gold Coast is no longer as popular with Australian travellers as it was.

 “However, Roy Morgan Research’s ground-breaking new profiling tool, Helix Personas, can assist tourism operators from the Gold Coast and other destinations to ensure their success in this shrinking family market.

“For instance, high-achieving young families in the Career and Kids segment are more likely than other groups to holiday at the Gold Coast (10% in the last 12 months vs 7% of the population 14+). Besides being extremely family-focused, Career and Kids typically hold responsible, well-paid jobs and are working hard to pay off their suburban homes.

“In addition to the Gold Coast, this group also aspire to holiday in high-profile destinations such as the Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays, Tropical North Queensland, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne, and Sydney.”

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

Related research reports

Click here to learn more about Helix Personas, Roy Morgan's new classification system for Australia's multi-dimensional communities.

Visit the Roy Morgan Online Store to access an extensive range of Travel and Tourism Reports, including our Holiday Trends Report, our Holiday Destination Visitor Profiles and our Holiday Destination Preference Profiles. The profiles provide an overview of the target group including information on their demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage.

Click here to view our range of profiles of holidaymakers by Holiday Activities – e.g. Beach Holiday, Backpacker Holiday, Casino Holiday, Disco/Nightlife, and many more.

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%