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Friday, July 3, 2020

Most Australians are already travelling. Are you?

According to a study sponsored by PayPal, 65% of Aussies are already comfortable travelling, but only if they’re staying close to home –

• 96% of Aussies not comfortable to travel broadly overseas

• 2-in-5 Aussies can’t wait to go travelling again and 65% are already comfortable travelling in Australia

• 3-in-5 Aussies had to change, or cancel travel plans due to COVID-19

• Almost 30% would rather stay local and support the Aussie tourism industry – even if they could go overseas

PayPal Australia has released a new Travel & Tourism Trends Report which reveals that more than three-in-five (63%) Australians had to change or cancel holiday plans due to COVID-19. However, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease in many states, Australians are ready to make up for lost holidays. Though many interstate borders are yet to open, 65% are already comfortable to travel within Australia. Two-in-five (37%) Aussies can’t wait to go travelling again and one-in-six (16%) Australians have already started researching their next trip.

The report surveyed consumers and businesses in Australia during the first week of June 2020 and reveals the impact that COVID-19 has had on consumers’ travel plans, and attitudes towards travelling both now and in the future as restrictions lift.

Australians won’t be heading overseas anytime soon, even if international borders open

A mere 4% of Australians said they feel comfortable travelling broadly overseas, with the exceptions being travel to the Pacific bubble, comprising New Zealand (20% comfortable to travel) and the Pacific Islands (10%). Over a quarter of Australians (26%) said they don’t expect to feel comfortable travelling overseas until 2022 or later, and a further one-in-20 Aussies (5%) say they will never be comfortable travelling beyond Australian shores again.

More than a quarter (29%) of respondents said that even if they could travel overseas, they’d rather support the local travel and tourism industry, showing the commitment Aussies have to helping our economy recover following the pandemic and bushfires marring the first half of 2020. Even though 20% of Aussies are comfortable travelling to NZ, only 7% said they’d rather go on a holiday to NZ rather than stay in Australia.

As many as two-in-three Australians (65%) already feel comfortable travelling within their own state, and 70% predict they’ll feel comfortable travelling interstate before the end of the year. Queenslanders are the most comfortable travelling domestically, with 76% already comfortable travelling within Queensland and nearly one-in-three Queenslanders (29%) already comfortable travelling interstate, compared to just 5% of South Australians who are currently comfortable to travel interstate.

PayPal’s Consumer Behaviour Expert, Danielle Grant said: “Travelling has always been part of the Australian culture, but the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 and the bushfires have significantly altered our attitudes when it comes to booking holidays.

“While many of us love exploring other countries, this year some of us simply can’t afford to travel, and those who can are setting our sights on a home-grown holiday. Instead of looking beyond our shores, we now have an opportunity to explore our marvelous continent, while at the same time supporting local businesses and the Australian economy.”

Beach getaways will be the most popular domestic holiday this year
After months of being cooped up at home, Australians are most eager for some seaside relaxation, with beach holidays topping the list (36%) of places Aussies want to go for their first domestic getaway, despite it being winter. Gen Z (45%) and Gen X (39%) the keenest to hit the coast again.

For older Australians, however, a holiday to a country town is most inviting, with one-in-three (33%) Baby Boomers saying they want to escape to the country for their first domestic getaway. Gen Y (16%) are also twice as likely to be heading to a natural wonder such as Uluru, compared to the average (8%).

Overall, Australians are most likely to go on a family holiday (40%), or a short stay holiday (38%) for their first domestic jaunt. However, men (35%) were a lot less likely to pick a family getaway, than women (45%). Meanwhile, Gen Z are significantly more likely (25%) to be booking a trip away with their friends, compared to the average (14%). These trends show that some may have had enough family time while being stuck at home!

Cruises didn’t make top of the getaway list for any generation, and one-in-three Australians (34%) said they will never go on a cruise holiday after what they’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Older Australians are even more deterred, with 49% saying they will never go on a cruise holiday again.

The good news is Travel & Tourism businesses are planning to offer discounts

The Travel & Tourism Trends Report also reveals that a quarter of Australians (26%) expect more discounts on accommodation and tours and 28% are happy to pre-book now if they know they can get a refund or change their dates. However, despite the discounts likely to be on offer, almost one- in-ten respondents (9%) said they can’t afford to travel at all because of the economic hardship they’ve faced due to COVID-19.

The good news for consumers is that 70% of surveyed Australian Travel and Tourism businesses said they are planning to or are already offering more discounts to support their recovery from the crisis.

And with 100% of surveyed Travel and Tourism businesses offering online bookings, organising your next holiday could be just a few clicks away.

Interestingly, more than a quarter of Australians (28%) would be willing to pay more for a holiday if they knew it avoided health risks – potentially leaving the door open for clever operators to develop and market tailored ‘COVID-safe’ tours and experiences. Thirty percent of consumers (30%) also said they think travel costs, including flights, will be higher due to the impact of COVID-19.

Ms Grant concluded: “2020 has been a tough year for everyone and it has been particularly tough for our Travel and Tourism industry where 83% of operators have either temporarily shut down or had to operate in a limited capacity. If you’re in a position to do so, booking a holiday or even a day trip not only gives you something to look forward to as life continues returning to normal, but will also help our Travel and Tourism industry recover and help revitalise the regional communities we visit.”

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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