THE Whitsundays has landed a prized place on Australian traveller’s bucket lists as international border closures prompt a rush to holiday at home.
Both Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island were named among Queensland’s top 10 trending destinations in the Booking.com Future of Travel report.
Airlie Beach nabbed silver behind Noosa Heads while Hamilton Island landed sixth place on the list.
The list was based on the most searched non-metro destinations by Australian users.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said she was “thrilled” to see Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island had both landed a spot.
“The Whitsundays is the most tourism reliant region in Queensland, it is critical for our industry that we are top of mind for holiday-makers,” she said.
“It is becoming clear that a silver lining we can take from the international borders being closed is that more Australian’s will have an incredible tropical holiday right here in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”
Mrs Wheeler hoped a combination of world-class resorts, beaches, sailing experiences and top quality dining would continue to draw visitors.
Other destinations on the list included Mooloolaba, Port Douglas and Caloundra.
Booking.com Australian area manager Luke Wilson said that while the future of international travel remained uncertain, it was encouraging to see Aussies exploring their own backyards.
“For Australia, the impact the pandemic has had on travel has been keenly felt,” he said.
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“As restrictions continue to ease in Queensland, we can see holiday planners are getting ready to rediscover travel in their own state backyard.”
The report also revealed working remotely had impacted Australian’s travel plans where more than one third of travellers had already considered booking somewhere to stay in order to work from a different destination.
Travellers were also prioritising sustainable travel and looking for an escape with strong health and hygiene standards in the wake of the pandemic.