Domestic Travel Set to Kick-start Australian Tourism Again
There is no doubt that Australia’s tourism and hospitality industry has taken a significant hit due to the travel restrictions put in place during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As Australian businesses begin to plan for the easing of restrictions, the tourism industry continues to experience uncertainty as opening borders to international travel is still off the table. However, there is hope as new research has found that Australian’s are looking to see a little more of their own country.
In an effort to support small business owners in regional areas impacted by the floods, bushfires and the pandemic, we saw a rise in the number of domestic travel campaigns being launched by bodies such as Tourism Australia. Despite the current restrictions, efforts to encourage Australian’s to travel locally are set to continue post-coronavirus, with those same communities still struggling as a result of decreased tourism spend. In fact, regional areas are becoming more appealing to travelers who want to get out and about, but don’t want to expose themselves to COVID-19 whilst doing so. The smaller populations and spread out communities present a lower risk and are an enticing destination to kick-start domestic travel once again.
Whilst travel is not on the mind of consumers just yet, with over 80% stating they believed travel within Australia was still not yet safe, over 50% of those surveyed said they want to travel domestically when restrictions are lifted. When looking at what is driving Australian’s to want to travel, it was revealed that their number one motivator was to support Australian tourism.
However, the impact of the pandemic will be felt even once restrictions are lifted. It was found that future travelers will be more aware of hygiene standards during their stays, meaning that accommodation providers will be expected to follow strict standards. Further, 50% said that they would opt to drive to their travel destinations, rather than flying or making use of public transport in an effort to avoid exposure. Whilst this will continue to place a financial strain on the airline industry, it will help expand the scope of travel destinations beyond capital cities.
It is clear that domestic travel will help lead the recovery of Australia’s tourism industry and the many businesses which rely on it. We look forward to seeing Australian’s see a little more of their own backyard and help out some of the most impacted members of our community whilst doing so.