CONSUMER ATTITUDE PROFILE ON HOLIDAYS AND SHORT BREAKS
The Hon. D. F. MOPPETT: My question is to the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Premier. Will the Minister inform the House of the results of a study into consumer attitudes to holidays and short breaks in New South Wales? Have the results been used to build a profile of holidays and short breaks? If so, what is that profile?
The Hon. VIRGINIA CHADWICK: I commend the honourable member for his interest in tourism. A survey was conducted to enable the Government to build up a profile of New South Wales holidays and both short and long breaks. This profile will not only assist the Tourism Commission of New South Wales in its planning, but will also be of practical benefit to individual operators and to the new regional zones as they develop their marketing and advertising strategies. It will be a most useful document. A total of 24 special focus groups were surveyed to ascertain a broad range of responses and about 2,000 door-to-door interviews were conducted in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to build up a comprehensive and accurate picture of the tourism and holiday expectations and preferences of a wide group of people.
From that survey and those interviews, six distinctive groups of holiday-makers were identified, which for simplicity have been categorised by age. They are: the young singles, the 18 to 34-year-old group, who are not married and have no children; young married couples of the same age group with no children; young families, couples with children from birth to seven years; older families, those with children aged eight years and over still living at home; and working empty nesters - perhaps other honourable members are familiar with that term but it was new to me - couples who both work but their children had left home; and retired empty nesters, those with no children at home. The survey revealed that their holiday experiences, expectations and preferences were quite different.
The young singles, who take 16 per cent of all holidays in New South Wales, look for adventure and excitement. They spend on average just over $1,000 per holiday and just over $300 per short break. They look for activities such as beaches, bushwalking, trekking, and water sports, and they tend to travel to areas where they will be able to mix with young people of their own age. They are more likely to travel by plane, they favour budget-style accommodation and tend to spend their money on the activities and the social life. Young couples represent only 8 per cent of holiday-makers in New South Wales, but they spend about $718 per holiday. They seek adventure and excitement. They tend not to travel in groups and their favourite New South Wales pastime or the desired pastime is skiing. They are more likely to travel by plane and their accommodation is slightly more expensive than the accommodation of young singles. Young families take 12 per cent of holidays and spend about $451 each per holiday. Their style of holiday is planned, no doubt taking into account the needs of the children, which would not surprise honourable members who have holidayed with young children. The parents are less likely to visit a big city, and tend not to go skiing.
The Hon. Ann Symonds: Are they looking for excitement too?
The Hon. VIRGINIA CHADWICK: If the honourable member had a young family, I think she would be looking for a rest. They are more likely to take a trip to the country and stay at farmhouses, in cabins, or guest houses and tend to spend their time playing golf, engaging in farm activities and visiting historic towns. Older families represent 26 per cent of all holiday-makers in New South Wales, so they are an important market. They spend $536 per holiday and their holidays are based around the needs of their children, with beaches and water sports being the favoured option. The working empty nesters represent 19 per cent, who tend to have more money and spend about $859 each per holiday. They tend to visit cities and restaurants that they left aside while their children were small. The Hon. J. M. Samios will be pleased to know that they make up the largest group of people interested in culture and the performing arts.
The retired empty nesters account for 11 per cent of holidays in New South Wales. They also spend quite a lot of money on their holidays - $832 each. The big cities by that time are losing their appeal and their holiday activities are mainly visiting family and seeing Australia. The retired empty nesters tend to meander from town to town across rural New South Wales, with the most common form of travel being bus and coach tours. Though that information will assist the commission in its planning, targeting and marketing activities, clearly much of the material that has been gathered will not be released publicly. It is intended to conduct 20 forums around rural New South Wales, consulting with industry about the details of our findings which we believe will help in determining how to present, market and advertise their product. Given that New South Wales faces stiff competition from many other areas for the tourist dollar, we will not be making that material public. It will be put to good use to help our tourist industry become better focused and more competitive.