Staycation boom: 80% of Aussies are planning local trips, study finds

staycation

Source: Unsplash/Pelayo Arbués

Australia’s travel renaissance is expected to take off after COVID-19 restrictions ease, with research by Westpac revealing 80% of Australians are planning a staycation.

Westpac’s research, released today, shows businesses can anticipate a boost for the visitor economy, particularly in NSW, where one in two residents want to travel within the state.

According to the study, 80% of Australians intend to travel when restrictions ease, which is an increase of 10% since 2020.

In NSW, 48% of residents are planning to holiday within the state and 50% intend to support local businesses by heading to bars and restaurants.

Leisure-based businesses and retailers can also expect a spike in local tourists, with 42% of NSW residents saying they want to support leisure services and 34% wanting to go shopping.

Shane Howell, Westpac managing director, said the expected demand for local holidays will be “a welcome boost” for the visitor economy.

“The tourism sector has had a challenging time with state and international border restrictions, so it will be a welcome boost for the visitor economy,” Howell said.

The NSW government announced a business support package this week, including $50 vouchers for adults to spend on accommodation anywhere in the state.

“[The vouchers] will give residents an added incentive to get out and about, particularly in regional and rural areas,” Howell said.

An increase in spending has already been recorded across NSW, following the easing of restrictions this month.

Analysis of Westpac merchant terminal data last week showed visits to beauty and barber shops were up 1051%, while shopping in family and clothes shops increased 1197%.

Howell noted that there are still ongoing challenges facing business, and some consumers remain cautious of being exposed to the virus in public spaces.

“Residents using their ‘purchase power’ to support businesses can make a big difference,” Howell said.

According to the NSW government, the visitor economy contributes $38 billion to Gross State Product.

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