Aussies the world's second-biggest spending travellers

Australians are among the biggest-spending travellers in the world, second only to Saudi Arabians.

Aussies are forking out an average of $3962 on each overseas trip, well above the world average of $2300, according to Visa's latest Global Travel Intentions Study.

Saudi Arabians spend a whopping $6414 while the Chinese are third on the list of big spenders on $3679.

Despite the dip in the Australian dollar, it seems Aussies are hell-bent on spending even more in future.

The study predicts Australians will increase their travel budgets by 9 per cent, to $4331, on their next trip.

VisitBritain has revealed that Aussies are the top international shoppers in Britain, flocking to stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.

According to VisitBritain, Australians spent $1.5 billion in Britain last year, most of it on clothes.

"Australians are no longer going just for traditional sightseeing, they are going there to shop," VisitBritain marketing manager Mark Haynes said.

Paul McGrath, managing director of Creative Holidays, said that despite the fall of the dollar, Australians are showing no sign of changing their "have passport, will travel" mentality.

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"Value is key for Australians when travelling so we find when our dollar drops they still travel en masse but seek out the best bang for their buck," he said. "This might mean staying closer to home and travelling to Bali or the Pacific Islands or looking into three and four-star properties instead of five-star."

Colin Bowman, executive general manager of marketing at Flight Centre - which has just announced that the group's net profit has risen by 23 per cent to $246 million in the year to June - said Australians' penchant for travel is not slowing.

"The Australian dollar may have dipped but it is the continuing cheap airfares that are encouraging Australians to travel," he said.

"The weakened dollar may affect end-destination spending, but it is not stopping us from going overseas," Mr Bowman said. "We have just launched our earlybird Europe deals for next year (including Sydney to London with a night in Hong Kong $1821, Melbourne to London $1799), so there are some very good fares out there."

He said Aussies are also resilient travellers and continue to go despite natural disasters such as Iceland's volcanic ash cloud and terrorist threats around the world.

"We have seen over many years that Australians love to travel. We like to explore and experience different things."

The love of holidaying means that Australians put travel ahead of any other motivation for saving, according to research released earlier this year by the St George-Melbourne Institute.

The institute reported that nearly 60 per cent of Australians nominated holidays and travel as a key motivation for saving money, ahead of a deposit for a house, renovating, retirement, education, repaying debts, buying a new car or an expensive item for the house.

Visa's Global Intentions Study also found that part of the reason for Australians' high spend is that we like to go on long-haul trips to "expensive tourist destinations such as the USA and UK".

The study found that 98 per cent of Australians have travelled for leisure in the past two years.

The study polled almost 13,000 people in 25 countries.

TOP FIVE SPENDERS

1. Saudi Arabia $6414

2. Australia $3962

3. China $3679

4. Brazil $2844

5. South Africa $2779

Figures based on average spend per person per trip.

Source: Visa

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