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The demographic dividend of VFR travel: Evidence from Australia


  • This research aimed to compare the demographic attributes of all VFR travellers with those applicable to non-VFRs to provide an understanding of the demographic profiles of VFRs and non-VFRs in Australia. 


Key findings  

  • Based on a sample of 81,579 that covers the period 2010-2012, the research demonstrated that the demographic profiles of VFRs and non-VFRs in Australia were markedly different. 
  • A higher proportion of non-VFRs were working full-time, living in capital cities and earning higher levels of household income.
  • A higher proportion of VFRs were working part-time, studying, or undertaking home duties. They were also significantly more likely to be pensioners or unemployed, part of a smaller household and earning a lower household income. They were more likely to be older and living alone.


Implications for Practice 

  • It is notable that socioeconomically disadvantaged groups have been acknowledged in the literature as being less engaged in tourism.
  • This research provides evidence of the active participation of socioeconomically disadvantaged groups in VFR travel.
  • It is concluded that the provision of VFR travel opportunities may offer those who are not in a position to engage in other forms of tourism with prospective tourism related experiences. 
  • Given the evidence that tourism provides wellbeing and health-related benefits, it seems important to encourage participation. VFR may be particularly helpful by providing a vehicle for participation amongst the socioeconomically disadvantaged.


 Publication details


Publication Title:



The demographic dividend of VFR travel: Evidence from Australia

Full Publication Reference:

Not available (conference paper)

Publication Author or Authors:

Dr Elisa Backer & Prof Brian King

Proposed by


Elisa Backer


(03) 5327 9645



Senior Lecturer in Tourism


Federation University, Australia