Domestic Travel- What Did It Look Like In 2020?
The domestic Australian travel numbers did not see year over year growth from 2019 to 2020. Considering the suspension of domestic travel during the height of the pandemic, this was to be expected. The trips that were more personal in scope, as well as the verticals seen as vital, were the least affected areas.
This year saw a large rise in the percentage of travellers1 that drove themselves in a vehicle as to the means of transport for overnight trips. The types of people traveling shifted with business accounting for 41% of trips and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) accounting for 36%.
Almost half of all business travelers were over 45. It was interesting to see that males in the majority continue to drive the number of business trips, but the female demographic is growing faster. Furthermore, trips generally lasted longer when business was the goal, but they proportionately spent less. Most trips ended on a Thursday or Friday, with weekends being the least popular.
The visitors going to see friends and relatives traveled alone almost half the time, while a quarter of trips were made by adult couples. An overwhelming 81% of trips did not include children. The trips usually only had one destination, which was usually an intrastate stay.
How Did These habits Affect The Market?
The states that saw the smallest amount of decline were South Australia and Western Australia. The southern state only saw a 12% loss in the number of visitors at 6.5 million, with a 17% change in spending that ended up at $4.0 billion. Western Australia also saw a 12% decline in the number of visitors, this decreasing to 9.4 million, with a lower drop in the amount spent by dropping 14% to $7.0 billion.
When it came to spending, one of the few categories that saw an increase was on groceries for self-catering, which bumped up from 5% to 12%.
Capital cities were hit harder in the number of overnight visits, falling 78%, compared to regional areas, which dropped 61%. These numbers correlated with trip activities as well. Anything that required large groups of people fell precipitously. The top four in loss all fell by 99%:
- Concerts and Theatre visits
- Organized sporting events
The activities that fell the least were singular outdoor activities:
- Surfing 65%
- Cycling 64%
- Fishing 62%
- Farm Visits 61%
These trends will likely continue while the pandemic rages on. Experts expect consumer behaviour to react to infection rates moving forward.