News Corp Australia research reveals consumers ready to travel again

New Horizons 2.0

• The New Horizons 2.0 travel research was conducted amongst 1,262 Australians aged 18 years and over

News Corp Australia has released its latest travel research results revealing the evolving perspectives of Australians when it comes to travel in 2020 and beyond.

The New Horizons 2.0 travel research was conducted amongst 1,262 Australians aged 18 years and over in September 2020 to understand how consumers are feeling about travelling as they learn to live with Covid-19. As the world continues to change, this study follows on from the company’s New Horizons research in April 2020, which looked at how Australians were feeling about travelling as the pandemic unfolded.

New Horizons 2.0 is showing green shoots in the travel industry with intrastate travel intentions rising. While there is still a way to go to full recovery, the further easing of restrictions in most states and territories (with the exception of South Australia this week) has seen a cautious optimism amongst Australians in their appetite to travel. For many they have continued to dream, plan and book their next holiday.

News Corp Australia head of travel Dwayne Birtles said: “Travel has faced much upheaval in 2020 and while many challenges remain, it’s promising to see consumers planning holidays, versus the ‘someday’ dreaming we saw back in April.

“This new research shows some clear changes in consumer mindsets from April, overall they are feeling more optimistic about starting to plan and book their next getaway. This optimism is driven by a mix of pent up frustration in not being able to travel, and the gradual relaxing of border restrictions making broader travel more tangible.

“Key for marketers, we are seeing even more importance in having breadth of content to speak to each stage of the travel journey as consumers look for inspiration to keep holiday dreaming alive with intrastate, interstate and international destinations, as well as up to date information addressing Covid related measures, safety and practical information for the places travellers can go now.

“A bigger challenge now for marketers is that there’s wider ranging differences in consumer views and attitudes towards travel in a Covid period of travel. This means the nuances in customer messaging for certain segments needs to be more considered.”

Emerging travel themes identified

• From dreaming to action Australians are ready to start travelling again, making the most of having their states to themselves (with the exception of Victoria).

• With state border openings in sight for many, holiday planning is in full swing, driven by mutual recovery, both individual and the economy. Holidays are being booked with shorter lead times than before.

• Restrictions and concerns around safety have fuelled an increase in drive holidays and nature is the lead attraction.

• Consumers need reassurance to be able to travel with confidence – this need increases for those with a higher level of concern (e.g. states most affected by Covid-19).

• Consumers are actively seeking travel content and deals which continue to inspire and drive action.

Australians are ready to travel again

With 52% of consumers saying they will travel within their own state for their next holiday, this represented a huge 13 percentage point increase in travelling intrastate compared to the April survey.

With travel becoming a closer reality, Australians are researching options more compared to April (12 percentage point increase to 31%) to keep them inspired, in addition to keeping an eye out for holiday offers (at 28%). This presents a considerable opportunity for travel clients to pair their deal with compelling content on travel.

There are still 17% of Australians who want their next trip to be international. The intent and desire to travel overseas is still there for a reasonable proportion of Australians.

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