7 reasons why you should take a road trip


The great Aussie road trip is synonymous with tourism and holidaying in Australia. The domestic holiday is the way we connect, explore and recharge with family and friends. Whether it’s piling into the family car and heading to the coast, visiting a caravan park over the school holidays, or heading to the mountains over a long weekend, a domestic holiday is an Aussie tradition.

We want to see more Australians enjoying more of this country by making it easier to travel, and giving them a compelling reason to venture beyond capital cities. We want to see a future where tourism continues to grow, offering Australians employment opportunities, a chance to reconnect and explore local communities, and greater amenity in regional areas. So if you're thinking of embarking on a great Australian road trip, here are seven reasons why you should do just that.

1. Reconnect with loved ones, country and nature

People often go to great lengths to reconnect with their family and friends around the country. For many, the main reasons for travelling to regional Australia are not necessarily associated with place – it is about the people-to-people connections. People are often drawn to nature-based and bucket-list holidays in Australia and with many of Australia’s varied natural landscape and unique fauna and flora best experienced outside of capital cities, this desire for nature based offerings is best explored via a road trip.

Unique, one-of-a-kind, brag-worthy experiences are what inspire us to travel. Lucky for us, Australia is rich in these experiences. Our natural environment is vast and varied, providing a range of experiences that attract people to our towns. Our culture is diverse and engaging, providing opportunities for travellers to learn and share these experiences with those they are closest with.

2. Support local tourism

Over the last 12 months there has been a greater emphasis and need for Australians to support local businesses, initially in light of the bushfires and now COVID-19. One of the most effective ways to do this is by exploring your own backyard, and providing a boost for the local economy. Last year, Australians spent about $65 billion on overseas travel. With more of us travelling locally, this can be injected into the domestic tourism market, helping support regional communities.

3. Unexpected events cause downturn in busy peak periods

Drought, bushfires, floods, and COVID-19 are all unexpected occurrences that have impacted the tourism sector and particularly the regional communities. As a result, people are reluctant to visit affected areas and are in turn affiliating unaffected towns with those affected. Towns, retailers and accommodation that rely on annual peak periods have seen their businesses and livelihoods affected by the lack of visitation.

4. Domestic tourism creates more jobs

Tourism is an important contributor to Australia’s economy, representing 3.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and one in 20 Australian jobs. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show about three in 10 accommodation and food sector jobs have been lost since mid-March. With local hotels and restaurants now open for business, there’s never been a better time for you to visit - the demand for goods and services generated by tourism not only supports employment and economic activity in the tourism sector, but other industries that are also linked.

5. Engaging with first Australians

Travel provides visitors with an opportunity to engage with other cultures. Just as people want to connect in our natural environment, they also want to engage in meaningful conversations with locals and the Traditional Owners of the places they visit to understand their history, culture and experiences. Tourism gives First Australians a chance to tell their story their way, to share cultural insights, traditional practices and contemporary concerns with all Australians.

6. Happy campers

Tourism Research Australia has found that more than 500,000 Australians are willing to take a camping or caravan trip in the next two months. This could help reinvigorate Australia’s struggling domestic tourism market and help boost the economy.

According to the research, caravan and camping travellers are seven times more likely to take a holiday in the next three months than the broader population. The research also found that on average people spend $584 per trip. This means that $282 million could be injected directly into struggling regional areas. Most caravan and camping grounds have put in place COVID-19 guidelines, which makes them ideal for the hygiene wary traveller.

7. Day trips are just as valuable as overnight stays

Day trips are extremely important for regional Australia, offering regions an additional income stream to overnight visitors. While the average expenditure of a leisure day trip visitor is considerably lower than an international or domestic overnight leisure visitor, there is nevertheless $11.4 billion of domestic day trip expenditure supporting regional economies; which makes up 23% of the domestic regional leisure spend.

So if you're looking to travel domestically this year, why not have a look at some of our road trips and locals guides for some inspiration? We've got everything from weekend getaways, short breaks and those much needed long trips. If you're looking for wheels to get around take a look at SIXT’s great Member discounts on car hire where Members save 15% plus a free upgrade. And of course if you’re hitting the road, don’t forget to check the mynrma app for the latest NRMA Blue offers and find out where to save on fuel and dining.

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