Research shows a quarter of Aussies plan to work while on the next holiday

Sankar Narayan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at SiteMinder

A new survey of more than 8,000 travellers globally, including 800 travellers across Australia, reveals an extension in the Working From Home phenomenon of the past two and a half years — a quarter of Australians now plan to work whilst on their next holiday.

SiteMinder, the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, has launched its annual Changing Traveller Report 2022, showing the desire to blend business and leisure (bleisure) travel is strongest amongst under 25s, with 45% saying they plan to work on their holiday.

When compared to others, Aussies are not as quick to adopt bleisure travel, exceeded by Thailand & China, where 65% & 47% of travellers plan to work on their holiday respectively. These new preferences have a distinct knock-on effect for accommodation providers. For those working on their next trip, accommodation is now more than simply a place to lay their head.

What are the key travel trends set to inspire the industry?

As the largest accommodation-specific traveller survey globally, it uncovers five key travel trends set to inform and inspire the accommodation and tourism industry:

  1. The Macro-Travel Trend: The urge to travel is stronger than rising inflation
  2. The Digital Influence Trend: Right now, travellers are the most winnable consumers on earth
  3. The Bleisure Trend: Working travellers want the hotel of the future, today
  4. The Trust Trend: Every digital touchpoint matters for the new trust-critical traveller
  5. The Human Connection Trend: Tech-enabled travellers are not willing to compromise on human connection

What are the executives’ thoughts on the research?

Sankar Narayan, Managing Director and CEO of SiteMinder, said, “The long-awaited recovery of travel has emerged with a new type of traveller, who has higher expectations from hotels and their travel experiences than ever. The accommodation sector has remained at the heart of travel during the last two years, with the rise of regional and domestic travel.”

“Now, we are seeing pent-up demand pushing the next phase of global travel recovery forward, with supply-driven hurdles such as border restrictions and flight scarcity becoming less of a roadblock for travellers in high-traffic destinations across the world,” Sankar Narayan added.

“More than simply an awakened enthusiasm for travel, travellers globally have reported strong intent to book and spend more, despite rising inflation. In SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveller Report, see more travellers now have ambitions to book, travel, work, connect, and experience the world with the greatest flexibility and security possible,” he added.

“This strong, multifaceted traveller intent is set to further evolve the role of accommodation, with more ‘bleisure’ and ‘work from hotel’ professionals looking for more meaningful experiences, and staying for longer,” Sankar Narayan said in conclusion.

Susan Wheeldon, Country Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Airbnb, explained, “Remote work has untethered many people from the need to be in an office every day. As a result, people are spreading out to thousands of cities, staying for weeks & even months at a time.”

“Now that many people can live anywhere, it is great news for communities that lay off the beaten track and are looking to diversify their local economies with more destinations being discovered by business travellers who are exploring regions outside of the usual city hubs.”

What other insights does the report bring to light?

  • 24% of Australians plan to work on their next holiday — amongst the lowest globally. 45% of those aged between 18-25 plan to work on their next holiday
  • When booking accommodation in order to work remotely, the most important factors travellers look for are: free and fast WiFi (35%), cost (31%), and free breakfast (22%)
  • Macroeconomic factors aren’t dissuading travellers. Among the 10 countries surveyed, Australian travellers had the highest number of travellers that said inflation was having “no impact” on their travel and accommodation decisions globally.
  • Accommodation providers need to up their game to remain competitive. Australians have higher expectations of their accommodation experience than they did before the pandemic — in spite of well-known worker shortages in the industry. 55% say housekeeping, room service, and reception service expectations are ‘higher’ or ‘much higher’ than pre-COVID.

Explore SiteMinder’s interactive hotel experience to gain insights & to read the full report.