Home » Competition for Bali as Aussies’ interest in this country soars

Competition for Bali as Aussies’ interest in this country soars

Australians’ obsession with Japan was not just a summer fling.

New data obtained by news.com.au shows the Asian nation will be an Aussie tourist hotspot this Easter – surpassing the wildly popular Indonesian island of Bali in some industry rankings.

Travellers’ love for Japan is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year.

Tourism & Transport Forum Australia CEO Margy Osmond told news.com.au while Bali remained popular it was facing increased competition from other destinations.

TTF’s annual travel plans survey found Japan is growing in popularity with every age group and will be the third most popular overseas destination this year after Europe and New Zealand.

When Aussies were asked where they want to travel within the next 12 months the year prior, it was Indonesia that was the third most popular answer.

Being overtaken by Japan this year, Indonesia took fourth place along with the USA.

Expedia Australia’s Sarah King explained a trip to Japan for Aussies right now is “better value than it has been in years” thanks to the strength of the Australian dollar against the Japanese Yen.

According to search data from Booking.com, Japan’s capital Tokyo is the top trending international destination for Australian travellers this Easter holiday period – climbing up from third spot on the same ranking last year.

Seminyak in Bali was bumped from second place in 2023 to third place in 2024. Singapore, which was the most searched international destination last Easter is now the second most searched spot.

Popular Balinese towns Ubud and Canggu came in at fourth and fifth, followed by Bangkok in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Osaka in Japan, and Legian in Bali.

Aussie Airbnb users are also searching for Japan stays the most this Easter.

That booking platform’s top three trending international Easter holiday destinations are all in the country – Tokyo, Kyoto and Taito City.

They are followed by Rome in Italy and Wānaka in New Zealand, before Japan appears on the ranking again with Osaka.

South Kuta in Bali came in at seventh place, followed by Hakone in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, Bangkok in Thailand, Taipei in Taiwan, Christchurch in New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

Airbnb Australia manager Susan Wheeldon said Airbnb stays were sought after by family and groups travellers wanting space and to split the cost of accommodation.

“With affordability an ongoing consideration for many travellers, not only are the trending categories of camping, cabins and private rooms unsurprising this Easter, splitting the cost of a luxe home between several groups can make that dream ski house with a private hot tub a reality for many this Easter,” she said.

A whopping eight out of the top 10 international destinations Aussies were searching for most on Airbnb for stays in November and December were in Japan.

While Japan managed to dethrone Bali as the top destination over summer on Expedia for the first time in eight years, the Indonesian island is back in top spot for Easter.

“While Bali has claimed top spot as the most popular Easter destination, it’s impressive to see Tokyo in second place, especially considering it has taken over other traditional Aussie favourites including Phuket, Fiji, and Hawaii,” Ms King told news.com.au.

“The continued appeal of Japan can be attributed to its accessibility and diverse attractions and experiences – from the globally-loved cuisine, the stunning natural scenery, the shopping districts, as well as its notable seasonal changes – including cherry blossom season and the crisp white winter.”

She also pointed to airlines launching new direct flights and increasing capacity, and the strength of the Australian dollar against the Japanese Yen gradually increasing in recent years, “meaning Aussies will get better bang for their buck when travelling there”.

Ms Osmond agreed Japan was especially popular with travellers who love skiing or other snow sports, with other drawcards being the welcoming people and delicious cuisine.

While Japan is growing in popularity with every age group, she said Bali remains popular, particularly for Australians aged in their late 30s and 40s, and families.

“Bali is facing increased competition from other destinations but will continue to be a much-loved favourite this year, especially given it offers such great value for money,” she said.

TTF found Europe is popular destination with every age group and New Zealand is the more popular with older Australians than young people.