‘Book now’: Slow locals risk losing out on Easter holiday
Tourism operators are preparing for a supercharged Easter as exclusive new research reveals Queenslanders are more likely than southerners to leave holiday bookings to the last minute.
Many operators in regions across the state are already reporting excellent numbers for Easter, meaning the prospect of a late booking surge could make next month one of the best holiday periods in years.
Exclusive research conducted by YouGov for The Sunday Mail and Tourism Australia found almost one in five Queenslanders (17 per cent) leave their holiday bookings to the last minute, compared to 16 per cent of Victorians and just nine per cent of NSW travellers.
Easter is typically the busiest holiday period because unlike the two-month window of the summer break, Easter holidays are much more condensed.
Many camping grounds and hotels in holiday hot spots are already booked solid throughout Easter as the rollout of the coronavirus vaccination program and a drop in virus case numbers adds reassurance to holiday-makers that travel plans are less likely to be thrown into turmoil.
It is promising news for an industry ravaged by border closures, the absence of international travellers and restrictions on hospitality and entertainment venues.
"The sooner you book the better," he said.
"The trend of leaving bookings to the last minute is not new but it has really been exacerbated by the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
"But touch wood we seem to be having a good run (without cases of the virus) and travel restrictions are easing which should hopefully give people the confidence to book a break for Easter.
"These research findings are a good incentive to book earlier to make consumers aware that they could miss out."
Despite the gloom surrounding the tourism industry in the past year, Queensland has weathered the storm better than any other state, with locals spending more of their holidays within the state.
Gold Coast mum Kristin Sutton said she had not made any Easter holiday bookings and was tossing up a short break away or a stay-cation at home.
"There's so much to do on the Gold Coast for young kids with the beaches and the theme parks so we might end up doing a staycation here," she said.
The YouGov research also suggests almost a third of travellers will spend more time exploring their own state this year with overseas travel off the table until further notice while almost half of those surveyed are influenced by a destination's virus infection rates when looking at holiday options.
Queensland's stellar response to the pandemic and the further easing of travel and entertainment restrictions has the state well positioned to be one of the main beneficiaries as travel returns to some degree of normality.
Queenslanders were also less likely to feel confident about travelling interstate in the next three to six months than people from NSW and Victoria.
Originally published as 'Book now': Slow locals risk losing out on Easter holiday