Overseas holidays fly past domestic travel for the first time since the pandemic

13 February, 2023

South Australians are flocking to the skies, with more choosing to take overseas holidays than those travelling domestic for the first time since the pandemic, RAA Travel data has revealed.

In December 2022, international holidays represented 56 per cent of bookings through RAA Travel – the first month overseas bookings have outstripped domestic since COVID-19 restrictions began.  

The data also showed that UK/Europe was the top international destination of choice for travellers, followed by South East Asia, New Zealand, North America and the South West Pacific.  

RAA General Manager of Travel and Distribution,  Gina Norman said South Australians were once again choosing to flock to the skies and holiday overseas.

“We’re finding that more and more of our customers are regaining the confidence to travel overseas for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak,” Ms Norman said.

“At the start of 2022 overseas holidays only represented about 20 per cent of total bookings through RAA Travel but throughout last year we saw that almost triple with a big shift back towards international travel.

“Countries around the world are continuing to lift travel restrictions, opening up more international destinations which South Australians are jumping on.

“The UK and Europe are the most popular destinations for South Aussies – many of whom are taking their first overseas holiday in a few years.”

Newly married couple from Adelaide, Tori Comacchio and Talyn Simms, both 28, recently spent their honeymoon in Koh Samui in Thailand, and are also in the process of booking a Europe trip for later in the year.

“We always wanted to travel internationally but obviously haven’t had the chance in the last few years with Covid restrictions,” Ms Comacchio said.

“Going overseas meant we could experience a new culture, try authentic food and fill our days with exciting activities.

“Now that restrictions have eased around the world we have decided that 2023 will be our year of travel.”

Ms Norman urged holidaymakers not to leave their bookings to the last minute and risk missing out on their dream holiday.  

“Demand for overseas holidays is booming and we don’t see that slowing down any time soon,” Ms Norman said.

“Flights in the first half of this year are already heavily booked for some of the most popular travel destinations.

“We’re encouraging holidaymakers to hop on to the RAA Travel website, or contact one of our travel advisors, and start planning their 2023 overseas vacation as soon as possible to avoid missing out and get the best deal possible.”

Ms Norman said that domestic travel was still in high demand, with sunny Queensland the top destination of choice within Australia.

Note to editors

RAA Travel booking data:

Month (2022)International BookingsDomestic Bookings
RankingInternational destinationDomestic destination
1UK/EuropeQueensland (Gold Coast and Nth QLD)
2South East AsiaMelbourne
3New ZealandTasmania
4North AmericaSydney
5South West PacificNorthern Territory