Australian domestic tourism is on the rise but consumers don’t care that rooms may be harder to find and are continuing to book late in record numbers, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia. It’s a habit the AAA wants to change, claiming it’s generally cheaper to book earlier.

Well, good luck with that. The overwhelming trend in every major market is to late bookings. And not just because of price. It is a lifestyle choice. Consumers are thinking and acting short term. People of all ages and demographics are part of what could be termed the ‘just in time’ generation.

“We are seeing the emergence of a booking trend where bookings are being made closer to the date to seemingly take advantage of last-minute rates,” said AAA Chief Executive Richard Munro.

“In most cases, there are actually greater savings to be made by booking in advance (because) that is when the majority of special discounts, packages and bonus deals are available to consumers.”

Mr Munro said forward bookings are strong and that the industry is confident of a strong spring and summer season.

Meanwhile, the National Visitor Survey, released last week, revealed that domestic overnight trips rose 6% in 2011/12 compared with the previous year with spending up 9%.

Tourism and Transport Forum Chief Executive John Lee said this is the strongest result in the post-GFC tourism era.


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