I know I’m not the only Aussie who had an awesome travel adventure planned for 2020, only to have it taken away by the widespread pandemic we currently find ourselves in. I was supposed to be exploring Scotland, England and France in September but ended up needing to cancel due to the travel restrictions the government put in place.
However, thanks to Australia being an island, and the government FINALLY getting their act together to crack down on the spread of COVID-19, Australia is currently in a pretty good place in relation to coronavirus (with the exception of our poor Melbourne residents – 39 suburbs are currently on stage 3 lockdown to decrease the spread).
With most Australians feeling fairly safe in our own country, and winter casting our minds to the nearby future of a lovely Australian spring and summer, many people are thinking about domestic travel. In fact, while 96% of Aussies are not comfortable travelling overseas (which is illegal anyway under or Biosecurity Act 2020), a study by PayPal has shown that 65% of Aussies are comfortable travelling domestically.
Beyond the safety of staying within our own borders, Australians have said that they would rather help our own economy recover after the devastating bushfires from last summer and the fallout from the pandemic. In fact, 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 marvellous continent, while at the same time supporting local businesses and the Australian economy.”
The most popular Australian holiday is by the beachside, with 36% of Aussies opting for this to be their 2020 holiday. I must admit that I have booked a trip to beautiful Noosa in QLD for September. I need some seaside relaxation after a very stressful and emotionally unsettling year.
The good news for those travelling domestically is that 70% of travel and tourism businesses are planning to or already offering discounts to entice people to travel and support the economy. The discounts are one of the reasons I decided to book flights – they were only $49 each way! The research also found that 28% of Aussies would be willing to pay full price for a holiday if there was a guarantee on avoiding health risks. But 9% of Australians said that even if there were no risks they can’t afford to travel at all thanks to the financial burden COVID-19 has created, leaving many Australians unemployed or in unstable employment.
It’s a scary time for everyone; just remember that even if you can’t go on holiday you can always appreciate the little things in your local area that make you happy. Go chase some waterfalls or watch the stars in a field with a loved one – there are lots of things that are free where you can celebrate the beauty and diversity of Australia.