April 27, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

An April survey of travel intent amongst Australians shows healthy appetite for intrastate and interstate travel as well as potential for the travel industry to convert an additional 22 percent – or 3.5 million – of currently unconvinced Australians to holiday in the next year.

SMP Surveys polled more than 1,000 Australians and found that 60 percent were intending to holiday within their own state in the next 12 months, while 47 percent intend to travel interstate. This equates to 9.3 million people travelling intrastate and 7.3 million travelling further domestically.

Respondents were also asked about international travel, should it become a possibility, and almost a quarter (24 percent) said they would travel overseas by air while 10 percent would take an ocean cruise. If the latter was realised, this would break Australia’s record for cruising, set in 2018, where 1.34 million travelled by ship.

Given the reputational hit cruises have taken during pandemic due to significant outbreaks aboard and widespread global shutdown of the industry, this result is rather interesting.

“While this is based on intention, we can say with confidence that subject to state borders remaining open and our international one opening up in greater capacity then travel is on the cards for close to ten million Australians,” said Neil Stollznow, Director of SMP Surveys.

“This would see billions of dollars transacted right throughout the economy and bring much needed reprieve to struggling sectors decimated by the impact COVID-19 has had.”

Twenty-two percent of respondents did not flag an intention to travel, with Stollznow saying this represented a big opportunity for the tourism industry.

“With around three and a half million Australians still unconvinced of travel over the next twelve months, that’s a huge potential segment of the market worth pursuing and would be a considerable win for industry to persuade them to become actual customers,” he said.

“Understanding this segment of fence sitters to identify what is holding them up and which brands or types of holidays would see them commit would be something that further research can discover and be an invaluable resource to marketers seeking to capture more demand to rebound strongly.”

Image: Tourism Australia