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New research reveals Aussie workers’ secret travel habits

Research has found that 78 percent of Aussie travellers struggle to switch off from work

As workplaces return to regular programming this week following the summer holidays, new research has revealed most workers have not switched off during their annual leave as we might expect.

A survey of over 1000 Australian workers, nationally representative of the population, found that 78 percent of us find it difficult to switch off from work-related messages and notifications whilst on holiday.

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The challenge could be made harder by a digital itch with 83 percent of workers admitting to sneaking a peek at emails and work-related messages whilst on holiday with loved ones. The findings could explain why over a third (37 percent) of Aussie employees say a goal for this year is to switch off from work on their days off.

The survey, commissioned by Coffs Harbour Airport in partnership with City of Coffs Harbour, aimed to explore behaviours relating to how Aussies are spending their time off work and what their goals are for 2024.

Image courtesy of Destination NSW

“We know Aussies are hard workers so we were curious to explore this further along with the role the Coffs Coast can play given nature is a proven antidote to a busy life. Within minutes of landing, travellers to Coffs Harbour are immersing themselves in outdoor experiences right on the airport’s doorstep,” General Manager of Coffs Harbour Airport Frank Mondello said.

The survey found six in 10 working Aussies aimed to spend more time outdoors in nature this year. Nearly twice as many NSW and Victorian workers are making time outdoors a New Year goal than Queenslanders and Territorians.

“The Coffs Coast is officially the first certified ECO Tourism Destination in New South Wales thanks to its plentiful outdoor experiences. The airport offers travellers the opportunity to maximise a long weekend or annual leave by ditching the car to fly directly into the destination where they can fill their cup with experiences like stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, surfing or simply soaking up fresh air with a good book. 

“We are making it our mission, together with the local tourism industry, to help busy Aussie workers find their ‘Coff Switch’,” added Mr Mondello. 

The latest tourism push is designed to attract the attention of travellers as the airport leads the charge on increasing visitation to the region which they believe has for too long been living in the shadows of crowded beach holiday hot spots on the East Coast.

“Seventy-six percent of respondents said they would consider flying to Coffs Harbour in the next 12 months for a holiday. We also know that car hire costs have reduced as supply chain pressures have eased – making a fly, drive holiday more accessible to many.

“We are confident that a combined industry effort will lead to increased aviation access to the region,” said Mr Mondello.

Image courtesy of Destination NSW

City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Paul Amos welcomed the new push.

“We know that Coffs Harbour is the perfect place for Aussies to switch off, spend quality time in the great outdoors and whilst here enjoy our burgeoning food and drink scene. The region’s tourism industry is having something of a renaissance with new accommodation and experiences giving travellers fresh reasons to visit,” Mayor Amos said. 

“Coffs Harbour Airport plays a critical role in our region by giving travellers the opportunity to get the most out of their visit with direct access to the heart of the destination – and less time in the car. The airport’s proactive approach to encouraging travellers to find their ‘Coff Switch’ is a win for the region and a win for busy Australians,” added Mayor Amos. 

Boambee Creek,Image courtesy of Destination NSW

The research also found:

  • NSW (88 percent) and Victorians (86 percent) are amongst the worst offenders nationally when it comes to sneakily looking at work related content whilst on holiday with loved ones
  • Of the generations in the workplace, millennials aged 35-44 find it most difficult to switch off from work messages and notifications whilst on holiday (87 percent) compared to 66 percent of working baby boomers (65+)
  • 84 percent of workers in NSW admit to finding it difficult to switch off from emails and other work-related messages whilst on holiday 
  • Women and men are both likely to sneak a peek at work related emails and notifications whilst on holiday (85 percent and 83 percent)
  • Workers are also aiming to spend more time with family this year with 38 percent saying they would rate it as a 2024 goal. This number jumped slightly in NSW to 42 percent whilst 88 percent of Tasmanians are keen to spend more quality time with their familie

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