More than 50 per cent of Australians intend to travel in the next six months, says Tourism Australia.
Australia’s tourism industry, which employs 5 per cent of Australia’s workforce, has experienced a tough year, impacted by bushfires, the pandemic and interstate and national border closures.
However, industry experts have observed a growing Australian sentiment towards domestic travel.
Australia is among the world’s few countries that have COVID-19 relatively controlled. With low infection rates and easing state border restrictions by Christmas, a surge in domestic travel is expected.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison told Dynamic Business that there has never been a better time to get out and explore Australia.
“Summer holidays are just around the corner so it is the ideal time to make holiday plans around catching up with family and friends in different parts of the country or contemplating somewhere new in Australia to explore,” said Ms Harrison.
“We are also urging those who have the means to do so to tick off some of those bucket list trips, like visiting Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef or even take a city break staycation to one of our big cities, which have really been impacted by the downturn in travel this year.”
This week, Lonely Planet awarded Australia the “Best In Travel 2021 award” for its recovery efforts in rebuilding communities and preserving Australia’s unique wildlife after the devastating bushfires earlier this year.
COVID-19 has impacted holiday plans
The ABS Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey shows that COVID-19 has impacted holiday plans during the next four months including Christmas, New Years and Australia Day.
Normally, three in four people would travel at this time of year.
COVID-19 travel restrictions, concerns about the risk of COVID-19 and too much uncertainty are the main reasons for a lack of intent to travel.
However, the survey was conducted between 16 and 26 October, a month before Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to ease states border restrictions by Christmas.
Travel the right way in 2020
Consulting firm McKinsey’s August 2020 travel survey shows that self-guided or self-driving tours are the current trending ways of travel.
CEO Justin Hales of Camplify, Australia’s largest caravan & motorhome sharing community, echoed this trend, saying 65,000 Aussies are expected to celebrate the coming festive break in a caravan or campervan.
“The record-breaking success we have seen over these past few months is a true testament to Australians’ hunger for travel in their own backyard,” said Mr Hales.
“Camping is a great way for families to spend the summer break, whilst staying safe and last year contributed $8 billion to the local tourism economy. Our offering of self-contained caravans and campervans provide socially distanced holidays, perfect for all Australians in 2020 and beyond.”
Camplify reported an 85 per cent year on year increase in summer bookings across all states.
Following the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions in Victoria state, Camplify saw a 200 per cent surge in Victorian bookings last week.
For inspiration to start planning a memorable road trip, check out Tourism Australia’s website here: australia.com