Local travel grows even as confidence softens

According to Square Holes’ latest mind and mood survey at the end of July / start of August South Australian confidence has softened as Melbourne goes into lockdown and others increase restrictions, yet intention to travel locally remains, particularly amongst younger South Australians.

One in three South Australians have booked accommodation or travel locally since COVID-19 restrictions have eased, with this level highest for 18-34 year olds and lower for those aged over 50. Younger South Australians have also booked to multiple regions more so than older South Australians (2.2 regions per 18-34 year old, and 1.2 65+ year olds who booked travel).

At an overall level, Adelaide, Adelaide Hills, Yorke Peninsula, Barossa and Kangaroo Island were the most population regions, particularly for 18-34 year olds.

The most popular accommodation type booked or most likely to use was hotel / motel / apartment (32% of those who had booked), followed by caravan park / powered camping site (24%) and BnB, Air BnB / Rent Holiday Home (18%).

It is interesting that camping on a now powered site was significantly more popular for younger South Australians aged 18-34 to other age groups. Younger South Australians are also more likely to prefer BnB, Air BnB / Rent Holiday Home and less likely hotel / motel / apartment than older age groups.

Over the next three months the most likely regions for South Australians to book trips to are Adelaide Hills (23%), Adelaide (22%), Yorke Peninsula (18%), Barossa (18%), Flinders Ranges (15%) and the Fleurieu Peninsula (15%), with South Australians aged under 50 significantly more likely to book.

For those not intending to travel in South Australia, the predominant reason is concerns surrounding COVID-19 and safety aspects for 51% of those unlikely to travel, as one person indicated “I have no wish to travel while the outlook is still doubtful with COVID-19.” Lack of finances was the next strongest reason (16%) –  “I cannot afford to take holidays at this point in time or for the remainder of the year.” The balance of reasons ranged from being housebound, saving for overseas travel for when it is possible, busy lives and a general preference to stay home.

Travel trepidation remains across age groups. Some of this is from a dampening of confidence over the past months with restrictions increasing in Melbourne and elsewhere and signs that the impact of COVID-19 is far from at its end. 

In saying this, many South Australians, particularly those aged 18-34, are more buoyant in their local travel plans. As we have discussed in previous mind and mood summaries, younger South Australians are currently the most financially confident, spending more and likely experiencing  greater levels of confidence bias and hope that things will get better soon, so are spending with such a positive mindset. Whereas older age groups are feeling financially less secure of worsening conditions and a corresponding need to tighten their spending.

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