Australian travellers fear domestic border closures
In the latest Australian Airports Association survey, Australian travellers and potential passengers discussed how they were still wary and fear the closure of domestic borders.
Australian travellers are still concerned some state and territory governments will suddenly slam borders shut again, placing a major burden on consumer confidence and the aviation sector’s recovery.
In a recent survey commissioned by the Australian Airports Association (AAA), 62 per cent of potential passengers said they were discouraged from flying around the country due to this continued risk.
AAA Chief Executive James Goodwin said more than half of the survey’s respondents were concerned about being placed into a lockdown and losing money on flights and accommodation.
“There is a real fear among the travelling public that borders could close again as a result of the current Omicron strain and rising case numbers,” commented Goodwin.
“Passenger numbers at Australian airports are still well-below pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, even with Christmas just days away. There is going to be a long lag between the opening of state and territory borders and full consumer confidence when it comes to taking to the skies again.
“Concerningly, people felt more confident in travelling interstate this time in 2020 (86 per cent) than they do today with only 72 per cent suggesting they’d be willing to cross state borders these holidays.
“With still so much uncertainty around the pandemic, it’s not surprising that 97 per cent of travellers are not booking trips more than three months in advance.”
Goodwin added that the AAA’s latest round of research showed Australians are now, by and large, ready for a strategic and gradual reopening to the world with 72 per cent supporting a phased reopening of the international border to foreign tourists. Almost 80 per cent are keen to see more international travel bubbles put in place.
“Australians want to get back to living their lives and look toward a COVID-19-free future however most are still not quite ready to put their money where their mouth is with just 45 per cent of fully-vaccinated regular travellers willing to book a flight abroad,” further commented Goodwin.
“The main barrier for overseas travel is concern around the risk of having to isolate in a foreign country (76 per cent), 69 per cent are worried about contracting COVID-19 and 65 per cent are concerned the government will shut the international border again leaving them stranded overseas.”
These key findings were taken from a sample of 500 Australians who have travelled by aircraft over the past five years.