Who needs a vacation?

Taking a vacation is something many people find relaxing and refreshing, letting one escape from the daily routines. This is widely known within the tourism industry — but is going on vacation also essential to our quality of life?

University of Wollongong researchers from the Faculty of Commerce believe this is a question tourism organisations need to consider when identifying their target audiences and planning their marketing campaigns.

According to the Director of the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research (IIBSoR) at the Faculty of Commerce, Professor Sara Dolnicar, psychologists have developed a large number of scales to measure quality of life which include a number of factors, but vacations are typically not included.

“Everything ranging from health to a good income has been attributed to having a good quality of life but the impact of having vacations on our quality of life has received very little attention,” she said.

In a study to address this situation, Professor Dolnicar, Dr Venkat Yanamandram and Katie Cliff at IIBSoR have found that 10 per cent of the population believe that a vacation is necessary to having a good quality of life.

Sixty per cent believe it adds to, but isn’t necessary to having a good quality of life. The remaining 30 per cent of Australians don’t consider vacations as having any bearing on their quality of life.

“It can therefore be assumed that one in 10 Australians will prioritise taking a holiday more or less regardless of their disposable income. This group is likely to spend money on a vacation even through difficult financial times, such as during the recent Global Financial Crisis”, Professor Dolnicar said.

“These 10 per cent should be a priority to the tourism industry when deciding where best to allocate their advertising budget.”

She said breaking down the tourism market into these three groups gives tourism marketers an advantage over other types of tourism segmentation.

“Acknowledging the fact that not everyone views vacations as essential to their quality of life can save tourism organisations valuable marketing money, by instead focussing on the group that perceives vacations as a necessity to having a good quality of life.”

For further information contact Professor Sara Dolnicar on 4221 3862 and 0405 759 031; Dr Venkat Yanamandram on 4221 754; or Katie Cliff on 4221 5919.