Short-break holidays during tight times

A La Trobe University research project is looking for participants willing to share their holiday experiences to assist researchers in finding out how Australian holiday destinations can remain competitive and appealing in the short-break holiday market.

Australia is recognised as one of the most beautiful and varied destinations in the world, endowed with natural wonders, intriguing heritage features and bustling cities – yet many Australians have seen more of Europe than their own country.

Due to the global financial crisis and the falling value of the dollar, the holiday market is expected to change, with more Australians expected to look into their own 'back-yard' for future travel destinations, rather then traditional two-week family holiday or overseas travel adventure.

One appealing alternative for many is a short-break holiday of 2-4 nights away from home, which encompasses a variety of destination types and activities.

Led by La Trobe, the research project is a part of a national study funded by the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre. Orchestrated by a national team of academic researchers, they will examine the short-break holiday market in two stages- the first will explore regional issues and opportunities for both the consumer and the tourism industry, to identify the potential for this market (this will be explored via participant's 'holiday tales'). The second, will use that information to conduct a national consumer survey of the short-break market and its prospects over the next five years. This $150,000 study will run between October 2008 and August 2009.

The La Trobe team consists of Dr. Dale Sanders, Dr. Outi Niininen and Professor Peter Murphy. Professor Murphy says, "like any industry, the tourism industry needs to adjust to changing circumstances. This study will be a first step in making recommendations so the industry can adjust to changing consumer demands and how it offers value". There will be three research focus group meetings within Victoria, one in Preston, and the others in Bendigo and Warrnambool.

The study is looking for people who have undertaken a short-break holiday of two to four nights at one destination away from home over the past 12 months or plan to undertake such a break in the next six months.

Those who qualify and are interested in attending the focus group in Preston on the evening of November 5 can contact a toll-free number at the University (1800-735-233) before 5:00 pm on Monday, November 3.

Callers will be asked a few background questions so the team can develop a representative sample of diverse people. If a person is selected for the approximately two hour evening focus group, they will be financially compensated for their time and input.


To find out more about the study please contact:

  • Professor Peter Murphy on 9479-3181, or call toll free 1800-735-233
  • Media Enquiries: Mikhaela Delahunty on 9479-5353