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Are Aussies about to cut back their summer holidays?

October 24, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A combination of low wages growth, higher household debt levels and dwindling disposable income could see many Australians cut back on their annual summer holiday, according to new research commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) and Nielsen.

TTF’s new quarterly publication, Tourism Tracker, gives details of the research, which for the first time provides a comprehensive insight into the economic factors that influence an Australian’s decision to travel.

TTF chief executive, Margy Osmond, said this edition explores the areas of spending people are most likely to cut back on, if households need to tighten their belts.

Tourism is vulnerable, with three of the top five areas relating to the hospitality and tourism sectors.

“A range of economic factors are clearly starting to bite household budgets and in worrying news for the tourism and hospitality sectors, they are the industries most likely to be among the hardest hit when people start to tighten their belts,” Osmond said.

“Our research found that if forced to cut back on spending, 73% of people said they would scrimp on eating out and 54% of people said they would look to save by skipping on holidays or leisure travel.

“The first edition of the Tourism Tracker argues that persistent low wages growth and a slowdown in household consumption growth, coupled with many households carrying higher debt levels, are the biggest risk to our local tourism outlook.

“With summer holidays around the corner and many economic indicators showing little sign of an upward lift, the tourism sector may have a nervous few months ahead.”

Osmond said the Tourism Tracker would provide a valuable insight for the tourism sector on the future direction of Australia’s visitor economy, by delivering an in-depth analysis of the key factors influencing Australians’ decision to take a holiday.

“The Tourism Tracker is the first time there has been an analysis of how the current economic climate stands to impact the tourism sector,” she said.

“As a sector, we have a lot of ‘backward looking’ data showing how tourism is progressing. We know how many Australians have recently taken a holiday, how many international visitors have come to our shores, how much people spend when on holiday here, the reason for people’s trips and the number of bed nights they had.

“The missing piece of the puzzle is commentary around the economic trends and factors influencing Australians’ future travel decisions.

“Through the Tourism Tracker, TTF is helping fill that gap with a more ‘forward-looking’ perspective on the sector.

“It brings together a range of indicators that impact on the cost of going on holidays, including measures of domestic travel, accommodation, fuel, international travel and interest rates.

“Through this quarterly report we will have a more complete picture of what our future domestic and international travel trends might look like and on how Australia is performing against the Tourism 2020 targets.”

You can download the tracker here.

Edited by Peter Needham

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