Pre-COVID (ahh, how simple life was then, do you wistfully remember those times??), the top international destinations for Aussies were NZ, Indonesia (Bali), the US and the UK in that order.
Now, things are a little trickier.
After months of local lockdowns and FOLO (Fear Of Lock Out), we are all going to be a little cautious before we jump on a plane for New York or London. Added to that, NZ is not planning on opening its borders until April 2022, so you’d assume the normal shape of holidays has to be well and truly shaken up.
Tourism Australia is also enticing us to stay nearer to home, with Hamish and Zoe Blake extolling the virtues of an Australian domestic holiday.
So, are we sick of our own backyard and desperate to travel overseas again? Will we throw caution to the wind, ignore the ‘perils of long COVID’ and revert to our usual holiday patterns? Or will we listen to Hamish and Zoe and choose the Big Banana over Bali?
We decided to ask Australians about their travel plans for the next 3 months, and for the rest of 2022.
For the next 3 months it looks like people are being pretty cautious. 38% say they have no travel plans at all. And of those planning to go somewhere it is definitely ‘baby steps’, with the majority (45%) planning only one or a few trips within their own State or Territory.
Only 1 in 5 are bold enough to be thinking of a single Interstate trip, and just 6% think they will have an overseas holiday of some kind.
1-0 to Hamish and Tourism Australia. Or are we all just COVID-scarred?
Looking further ahead into 2022, the pattern is slightly more optimistic. Only 18% have no serious holiday plans for next year.
More people are willing to ‘risk’ an overseas trip, with Asia topping the list (9%) ahead of NZ (6%), Europe (5%) and the US (4%).
So it seems that it’s the UK that will miss out most on our normal tourist dollars. Legian is more likely than London and Milan will get the nod ahead of Manchester.
But it looks like the local tourist dollar will be the biggest beneficiary, with nearly 1 in 3 of us planning an Interstate trip in 2022.
2-0 to Hamish.
Of course, this all pre-supposes Omicron does not change the landscape dramatically over the next few months and force us all to revise our plans. ☹ Perhaps the one thing we have all learnt from the last year is to be ‘flexible’. The next twist is probably just around the corner.
Wherever you plan to travel to in 2022, stay safe and well. And enjoy Christmas with your family and friends. We all need a little festive cheer, love and hugs after a COVID-wracked 2021.
*Questions asked via a national Omnibus (courtesy Ovation Research)