Outdoor Hospitality News

For owners, operators, team members, and anyone else interested in camping, glamping, or the RV industry.

Grey Nomads Favor Overseas Travel, Leaving Queensland’s Outback Quieter

Retired couple Greg and Dianne Osborne are exploring Queensland’s outback, defying a trend among their peers who are increasingly opting for overseas vacations. The Osbornes are dedicated to discovering the beauty of their own country with their camper trailer, despite the rising number of retirees choosing international travel.

“We’ve done some lovely overseas trips in the past, but this is just Australia’s time now,” said Dianne Osborne. This commitment to domestic travel contrasts sharply with the growing preference for international holidays among older Australians.

Tourism operators in Queensland have noticed a significant drop in bookings this year. Robert Russell, property manager at Charlotte Plains near Cunnamulla, highlighted the slow start, according to a report by ABC News.

“It’s probably been a bit slow in terms of bookings so far this year,” he said. The high costs associated with towing caravans and overall economic constraints are major factors influencing this trend. “Travel is a bit of a luxury thing and it’s one of the first things to go when people cut their spending.”

Natural disasters have also played a role. Graham Reid, owner of Charleville Bush Caravan Park, noted that recent flooding and fears of road closures have deterred potential travelers. “Bookings for the caravan park were excellent, then reality hit and it dropped off,” Reid explained.

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) data supports these observations. In the last quarter of 2023, there were 200,000 fewer camping and caravanning trips in Queensland compared to the previous year. 

Michelle Weston, CEO of the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, noted that “grey nomads, instead of going caravanning or camping, are actually going overseas.” This shift is reflected in the increased number of international departures for this age group.

Brisbane Airport saw over 500,000 passengers depart for overseas trips during the Easter holidays, a third more than the previous year. TRA reported that 2.3 million Australians aged over 55 went on overseas holidays in 2023, doubling the previous year’s figure.

Outback attractions are feeling the impact. Lloyd Mills, CEO of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, reported a 20% drop in visitor numbers compared to last year. 

“The issue is that people just haven’t commenced traveling this way yet,” Mills said, as quoted in the ABC News report.. He remains hopeful for a stronger end to the season, with high bookings for the winter school holidays.

Despite the shift towards international travel among older Australians, the caravan industry is holding steady. Luke Chippendale, general manager of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, noted that the second-hand market has not been flooded with pandemic-era purchases. 

The market for new caravans remains strong, with an increasing number of young families opting for camping trips as a more affordable holiday option. “It allows for an entire family holiday, which could include grandma and grandpa if they’re going to come along as well,” Chippendale said.

As for the Osbornes, they are continuing their travels around Queensland’s southwest and plan to return with a larger vehicle to venture further into the outback. “I just think the Australian bush is beautiful,” Greg Osborne said. “We’re exploring further west than we’ve ever been before.”

While the trend for many grey nomads is shifting towards international travel, there are still those like the Osbornes who find adventure and beauty in their own backyard. Their journey serves as a reminder of the unique experiences Australia has to offer, even as global travel becomes more accessible.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nolan Creek
Nolan Creek
May 14, 2024 11:42 am

Have you heard about grey nomads preferring overseas adventures instead of exploring Queensland’s outback? It might be cool for the outback tourism peeps to come up with some fresh ideas to attract more visitors. And hey, maybe caravan peeps can create more budget-friendly travel options to lure older Aussies to the outback.

Thomas Lopez
Thomas Lopez
May 14, 2024 1:56 pm

It’s a shame to hear that grey nomads are ditching the outback for overseas trips. The beauty of Queensland’s remote spots is truly magical and deserves more love.

May 15, 2024 3:09 am
Reply to  Thomas Lopez

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Queensland’s remote spots are like hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. You and I should pack our bags and go explore them! By the way, Queensland is home to over 1,000 species of butterflies.

May 14, 2024 8:03 pm

Have you heard? The outback is getting quieter as grey nomads swap kangaroo tales for overseas adventures. Those kangaroos must be throwing some epic going-away parties now!

May 14, 2024 9:04 pm

Can you believe it? Grey nomads are preferring overseas trips over Queensland’s Outback. But hey, maybe new experiences and deals could lure us back to the Outback soon. What do you think?

May 15, 2024 12:06 am

With the camping decline in Queensland’s Outback, how about tourism operators offer sweet deals to attract more visitors? Let’s share the Outback’s charm through cool marketing!

May 15, 2024 3:46 am

You know, Queensland’s tourism scene may be feeling the blues, but hey, the world’s their oyster! Those grey nomads opting for overseas adventures might be onto something. Maybe it’s time for the outback to reinvent itself and draw back the adventurers seeking a unique experience closer to home.

May 15, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  BlueFern977

Reimagining the outback sounds like an exciting opportunity! How about introducing eco-friendly tours or cultural experiences to attract more adventurers? It could be a great way to bring life back to the region and create a buzz among travelers looking for something different!

May 15, 2024 4:35 am

Have you heard the latest? Queensland’s outback is gearing up with fresh ideas to lure in more adventurers, bringing a new spark to the region. Exploring the outback’s culture and landscapes is truly a special journey.


Send this to a friend
Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Grey Nomads Favor Overseas Travel, Leaving Queensland's Outback Quieter! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/australia/grey-nomads-favor-overseas-travel-leaving-queenslands-outback-quieter/