As Western Australia’s borders reopen to international and domestic travellers on 3 March, British guests have emerged as the most enthusiastic travellers to Australia’s largest state – according to new Airbnb data, with more searches for West Aussie listings originating in the UK than any other country, following the border reopening announcement on 18 February.
After two years of separation, friends, family and tourists from abroad are enthusiastically planning their return to the state, with searches by international guests for Western Australian destinations spiking 65% in the 24 hours after the welcome Government announcement*.
Guests in the United Kingdom, Singapore, United States, Canada, New Zealand, made up the top five countries with the most searches for Aussie listings on Airbnb for inbound travel, while capital Perth topped the list for most searched destination, ahead of Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton, and Yallingup.
The top-five most searched destinations by international guests for Easter (14-17 April) changes slightly when compared to the reopening period (3-13 March), with Perth slipping behind Margaret River and Dunsborough into third, and Albany leapfrogging into fourth ahead of Busselton.
For their part following the reopening, West Aussie travellers indicated that London is the most searched outbound destination, edging out Auckland, and Paris.
Government policy on accommodation should be carefully considered
With travel’s long-awaited return to Western Australia just a day away, public policy in the state should seek to encourage more visitation in order to return the tourist economy back to pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible, for the primary benefit of the hardworking people and communities within WA.
The current proposals to regulate short-term rental accommodation in Western Australia would make the state the harshest in the country for people who want to share their homes.
WA loves Airbnb, and over the past summer holidays, listings across the state were searched over 2.1 millions times, eclipsing pre-pandemic levels. With almost 730,000 guests staying at an Airbnb listing across the state during the past year, the regulations are not only ill-conceived, but out of step with how West Australians are choosing to travel, not least the rest of the world.
Airbnb urges West Aussies to have their say on the government consultation into short-term rental accommodation which closes 7 March by visiting airbnb.com.au/walovesairbnb.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand said: “This is the moment that Western Australia has been patiently waiting for after managing the situation for the last two years so well.
“The rest of Australia and Airbnb commend the people of Western Australia, and government for their resilience and unity during this time, and we know that our Hosts cannot wait to welcome back guests to Australia’s largest state.
“What we are seeing from our international guests is enthusiasm to book trips in Western Australia from cities and countries all over the world, from old friends in Britain and America, to places closer to home like Singapore and New Zealand.
“This is a really exciting time for Western Australia, travel, and the economy, as tourism begins to recover, with guests choosing to live and travel in new and different ways. The travel revolution is creating new opportunities to host anytime and anywhere so proposed laws the government is considering should take into account the different reasons people travel and now live with Airbnb.
“While this is a joyous moment right now, communities right across Western Australia risk being left behind as both locals and interstate travellers in the future search for ways to make their family budgets stretch further, seeking out places with more choice and affordability.
“Western Australia risks losing local travellers to other states with less restrictive rules and a more diverse and affordable range of accommodation. Now that domestic and international travel has returned to WA, it’s important the state is competitive and able to make the most of the economic benefits of tourism, while also ensuring locals still have a broad range of affordable accommodation options.”
Top ten countries of origin searching for trips to Western Australia 3-13 March 2022
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong
Top ten destination cities searched by international guests for trips to Western Australia 3-13 March 2022
- Margaret River
Top ten cities searched by West Australian guests for trips to Western Australia 3-13 March
- London, United Kingdom
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Paris, France
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Seoul, Korea
- Brighton, United Kingdom
- Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
- Madrid, Spain
- Christchurch, New Zealand
- Rotorua, New Zealand
*Compared to the 24 hours before the announcement.