The new study showing travel intentions of Australians this year found that more than 80 per cent of those planning a holiday will do so in Australia, but they will head to Melbourne or the Gold Coast before heading to the nation's largest city, which came in third place.
The biggest reason for visiting Melbourne was to visit friends or relatives (48 per cent), with only 35 per cent of visitors heading here just for a holiday.
The inaugural National Travel Monitor, conducted by Sweeney Research for Fairfax Media - publisher of the The Age - found that capital cities are among the most popular destinations, although the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and central coast in NSW fared well. Wine tours seem to be off the boil, with the Hunter in 12th place.
Three out of every four Australians were planning to take a holiday this year, but fewer were heading overseas than one might expect under current conditions.
Despite the strong Australian dollar, only 19 per cent of those surveyed were planning overseas trips, with Britain still the most popular place to go and Thailand beating New Zealand for second place. Central America and Africa were the least popular international destinations, with only three per cent of those surveyed planning trips to the regions.
Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson last week said the amount of annual leave owed to Australians was a disgrace. He said Australians should take more short breaks within the country instead of hoarding leave for long overseas trips.
Source: The Age Domain