SEARCHES for local destinations such as Nelson Bay and short-haul tropical getaways like Fiji rose dramatically in 2011 as Aussie travellers seek to escape crippling New Year's Eve costs in the cities.
Keen to avoid outrageous prices, many Aussie travellers have been looking to explore a trip away, staying local wherever possible.
According to Expedia, the most popular domestic searches* for Australian travellers are:
- Nelson Bay, up 292 per cent
- Hunter Region, up 180 per cent
- Wollongong, up 177 per cent
- Coffs Harbour, up 167 per cent
- Newcastle, up 167 per cent
However, domestic-minded Aussies are now considering looking further afield as poor weather forces many to change their travel plans.
In recent weeks, there has been a 122 per cent increase in searches for holidays to Hawaii, while queries for Fiji trips are up by 135 per cent.
Commenting on the figures, Expedia,com.au marketing and communications manager Amee Evans said: "While it's admirable for Australians to look to take their breaks at home, it's no surprise that many are looking for sunshine this festive season. After all the rain we've had, and the huge cost to celebrate New Year's Eve in Australia's cities, it's no wonder many are now considering inexpensive overseas destinations.
"Aussies want value for money and they don't feel they are getting that by paying up to $1000 for canapés, a few drinks and a view of some fireworks. If a trip to a local hotspot like Nelson Bay or Wollongong is no longer possible, it's certainly worth heading overseas to enjoy sunshine alongside the strength of the Aussie dollar."