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News media readers are flying high


95 per cent of airline passengers read news media: 

  • 6.8m passengers read newspapers (67 per cent) 
  • 4.8m read the Travel section of the newspaper

The more they read, the more likely they are to fly: 

  • 63 per cent of Travel section readers intend to fly versus 48 per cent of non-readers 
  • 60 per cent of heavy newspaper readers intend to fly 

Travel readers and Heavy readers are more likely to be Frequent Flyer members: 

  • 64 per cent of Travel section readers are Frequent Flyer members versus 50 per cent of non-readers 
  • 62 per cent of Heavy newspaper readers are Frequent Flyer members … and are more likely to pay a premium 
  • 22 per cent of Travel section readers will fly First Class, Business Class or Premium economy versus 11 per cent of non-readers, and 22 per cent of Heavy newspaper readers will be buying premium seats 

Australians are some of the world’s most frequent travelers and biggest tourism spenders. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranks Australia 6th in terms of international tourism expenditure, splurging US$34.2 billion in 20171 and reporting a strong increase (+9%) in outbound expenditure in the first nine to eleven months of 2018.2 

The number of Australians aged 15 and over travelling overseas during the year ending June 2017 increased 6 per cent to 9.1 million, according to Tourism Research Australia (TRA) data.3   

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian residents undertook more than 9.1 million outbound international trips in 2017. 4 

Tourism Research Australia (TRA) estimates that outbound travel by Australian residents will increase 4.2 per cent to 10.9 million in 2018-2019. For domestic travel, TRA estimates a 3.7 per cent increase in day trips to 198.3 million and 2.9 per cent increase in domestic visitor nights to 353 million 5 


News media are a highly effective way to reach these travelers, providing high-reach potential and an environment perfect for targeting travelers. 

According to emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) 9.8 million Australian airline passengers read news media each month. That’s nine out of every ten passengers. Most read news on computers, tablets or mobile phones (8.8m), while two in three (6.8m passengers) read newspapers. 

From a channel planning perspective, both Travel section readers and heavy newspaper readers (7+ issues per week) are higher-value prospects than non-readers of news media. They’re more likely to fly, more likely to be Frequent Flyer members, and they’ll pay a premium for better seats: 


More likely to fly 

Two out of three heavy newspapers readers intend to fly in the next 12 months, compared with 48 per cent of non-news media readers. For domestic flights, heavy newspaper readers are 28 per cent more likely to fly than non-readers (45% vs 35%), and 29 per cent more likely to fly internationally (34% vs 26%). 


More often Frequent Flyer members 

Two out of three of heavy newspaper readers are members of a Frequent Flyers program, compared with 50 per cent of non-readers. Similarly, two out of three Travel section readers are Frequent Flyer members. 


Pay for premium seats 

While one in five heavy newspaper readers fly premium economy, business or first class, only one in ten of non-readers fly in these classes. 

A key reason why heavy newspaper readers are more inclined to travel is because they are more affluent than light or non-newspaper readers. The average heavy newspaper reader earns 46 per cent more than non-readers, and 15 per cent more than light readers. 

Airline travel is strongly correlated to income: someone earning $120,000+ p.a is 33 per cent more likely to take an international holiday then someone earning under $40,000. 

Newspapers also offer editorial environments that directly target travelers. A large percentage are actively in the market: 

  • 57 per cent plan to travel by air in the next 12 months, which is 19 per cent higher than for non-readers (48 per cent). 
  • More than half intend to fly domestically, which is 23 per cent more likely compared with non-readers (35 per cent). 
  • One third say they’ll fly internationally, which is 27 per cent higher than the percentage of non-readers (26 per cent)). 

Newspapers deliver high-reach and skew towards high-earning airline passengers who travel more frequently and spend more on their seats. Travel sections of newspapers add an editorial environment that targets the prime prospects when they’re in the market. 


1 United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNTWO Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition.  

2 United Nations World Tourism Organization , World Tourism Barometer Jan 2019 

3 Tourism Research Australia, Travel by Australians, Year ending September 2017 results of the National Visitor Survey  

4 Australian Bureau of Statistics 3401.0 – Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Jan 2019 

5 Tourism Research Australia, Tourism Forecasts 2017, August 2017  

6  *1 emmaTM, 12 months to January 2019. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos Connect, people 18+ : Nielsen Digital Panel, 4 weeks January 2019, people 18+ calibrated to Nielsen Digital Content Ratings data for the equivalent period; “Passengers” Intend to fly on holiday domestic (N6M) or International (N12M); All references to non-readers relate to non-readers of news media in the last 4 weeks. *2 Intend to fly & read Digital news media Last 4 weeks. Similarly newspapers. *3 Readers of the Travel section in the newspaper. *4 Frequent Flyers members of any airline rebased to exclude “Don’t know”. Heavy newspaper readers read 7+ issues a week. *5 Premium is First class/Business class/Premium economy (Travelled  Domestic P6M OR International P12M). 

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