International Holidays 33 Percent More Expensive Than Pre-COVID
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International Holidays 33 Percent More Expensive Than Pre-COVID

But higher costs are not dampening Australians’ desire to travel abroad

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Dec 29, 2023 11:06amGrey Clock 2 min

Travelling overseas is significantly more expensive than before the pandemic, and the cost has risen at a much faster rate than domestic travel. New Finder research shows domestic holidays are 19 percent more expensive than pre-COVID, while international holidays now cost 33 percent more.

Australians are spending an average of $6,765 on international trips, according to Finder. Accommodation is the most expensive component at $2,343 on average, closely followed by flights at $2,153. Finder’s travel expert, Angus Kidman said higher demand had pushed prices up. “International travel has become more costly as pent-up demand and the peak European summer season coincide.” Other factors that have made international travel more expensive in 2023 include higher jet fuel prices, staff shortages at airlines and airports, worldwide inflation and airlines being slow to return all their planes to the sky following their fleets’ grounding during COVID-19.

But higher costs have not deterred people from heading abroad. Australians are making up for lost time, with ‘COVID revenge travel’ prompting many to head overseas this year. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, leisure dominated overseas travel intentions in FY23, with 53 percent of travellers going overseas for a holiday, 32 percent travelling to visit friends and family and only 6 percent heading overseas on business.

Government forecasts show Aussies will keep travelling overseas in 2024 despite the significantly higher costs, and demand is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the new year. However, there are signs that the cost-of-living crisis is starting to bite, and 2024 may the last big year of revenge travel before Australians tighten their belts. According to the Tourism Forecasts for Australia 2023 to 2028 report: “In 2023, 9.8 million resident returns are expected, which would be 86 percent of the pre-pandemic level. This increases to 11.3 million resident returns in 2024, which is nearing parity with the number of resident returns in 2019. Looking forward, cost-of-living and budget pressures in Australia are expected to weigh on outbound travel growth. Compared to last year’s forecasts, the profile for outbound growth is very similar. However, high global travel costs and reduced household savings in Australia have had a mild dampening effect.”

Finder says 54 percent of Australians intend to travel in the new year, with 15 percent heading overseas, 14 per cent intending to travel both overseas and domestically, and 25 percent planning to holiday only in Australia. Online travel agent KAYAK says searches for 2024 flights are up dramatically. “As Aussies, travel is in our DNA and despite macroeconomic uncertainties it looks like many Aussies are still struck by the travel bug, with searches for flights to both international and domestic destinations up 47 percent for travel over the next 12 months compared to last year,” said brand director Nicola Carmichael.

Top 10 overseas destinations for Australians in 2023

  1. Indonesia
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Italy
  5. Thailand
  6. France
  7. New Zealand
  8. Japan
  9. Singapore
  10. Vietnam


Source: Finder Travel Inflation Report


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Is ‘Rizz’ the Secret to Getting Ahead at Work?

Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”


This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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