Snow at Victoria's Mt Buller. Photo: Instagram
Snow at Victoria's Mt Buller. Photo: Instagram

Cool threat looming for Qld tourism hotspots

COLD southerners just can't get enough of Queensland's warm winter.

And the numbers of tourists around on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Cairns is solid testimony to that.

But these tourist regions might want to keep a close eye on Victoria' Mount Buller with Wotif reporting searches for skiing holidays increasing by a whopping 45% in the past year.

According to the latest Wotif survey, Queensland remains Australia's favourite home-away-from-home.

But the introduction of a $1.6million Technoalpin 'Snow Factory' at Mt Buller, has seen the region become the first ski area in the Southern Hemisphere, outside of Chile to have such technology installed.

Families are also being attracted by newly introduced night skiing on Saturdays and Sundays in peak season, and an ongoing entertainment schedule in the Village Square.

Wotif travel specialist, Kirsty La Bruniy, says one of the keys to  a more affordable family ski holiday is to stay at nearby towns.

For example, Cooma in NSW has a predicted average daily rate of $188 a night, compared to Jindabyne's $282, offering families an average saving of nearly 35%."

"Wotif's data shows that while demand for international travel has increased over the school holidays, Queenslanders still prefer to keep it local by travelling within their state to key hot spots including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

"When looking at the most in demand destinations in Australia, the tropical north provides the best value for families these July school holidays, with the average predicted rate in Cairns at $149 per night for two adults and two children."

For Aussies heading offshore these July school holidays, searches for Ho Chi Minh City have almost doubled (195%) compared to last year, with Singapore (50%) and Phuket (40%) coming out as emerging, close to home destinations for July school holiday travellers.

"The biggest surprise to come from this year's Wotif data was the increased interest in close-to-home international destinations.

"Bali still remains a favourite for Australians, but if we continue to see the same trend over the next two years, we may have a new Bali on offer, by way of Vietnam," said La Bruniy.

Earlier research conducted by Wotif shows, of the 69% of Aussies who prefer to travel further afield, they do so to experience a different culture, with 44% of parents with school aged children choosing international destinations to give the kids a chance to see the world.

"Vietnam offers exceptional landscapes, delicious cuisine and a diverse yet welcoming culture for families to explore.

"As competitive airfares continue to rise, there is no surprise we're seeing a surge in interest." said La Bruniy.

"It is now easier than ever for Aussie families to head further afield, with the introduction of budget friendly flight routes including Jetstar's new nonstop Ho Chi Minh City service from both Sydney and Melbourne in May."

Based on Wotif's predicted daily accommodation rate, Aussie families can visit Vietnam from $127 a night, making it one of the most affordable destinations these July school holidays when compared to other international destinations.

Ho Chi Minh City is enjoying a surge in interest from Aussies thanks to cheap airfares.
Ho Chi Minh City is enjoying a surge in interest from Aussies thanks to cheap airfares.

Wotif's predicted 'mover and shaker' holiday destinations based on July school holiday year-on-year searches:

  1. Ho Chi Minh City
  2. Singapore
  3. Mount Buller
  4. Hobart
  5. Phuket
  6. Brisbane
  7. Bangkok
  8. Jindabyne
  9. Darwin
  10. Tokyo

Top capital cities

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. Brisbane
  4. Canberra
  5. Adelaide

Top regional destinations

  • 1. Gold Coast
  • 2. Sunshine Coast
  • 3. Cairns & Northern Beaches
  • 4. Port Douglas
  • 5. Hunter Valley
  • 6. Blue Mountains
  • 7. Townsville
  • 8. Byron Bay
  • 9. Coffs Harbour
  • 10. Airlie Beach

Queensland holiday insights

• Holidaying parents in Queensland are the most likely (76%) to see their kids enjoy being allowed to stay up later/wake up later when on holiday.
• Holidaying kids in Queensland are the most likely to say exploring new places (71%) and drinking and eating things they're normally not allowed (57%) are their favourite things about going away.
• Holidaying Kids in Queensland are the most (92%) to like being on holiday with their mum.