The future of travel: Aussies avoid cheap flights, booking sites and insurance

Olivia Gee

07 Jul 2020

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Key report findings

  • One-third of Aussie travellers impacted financially by Covid-19 lost up to $10,000

  • 44% are planning to travel domestically within the year, 20% internationally

  • 60% don’t plan to take out travel insurance in the future

Mozo’s latest report has found that Covid-19’s impact on travel remains a top concern for many Australians. Some would-be holidaymakers are still reeling after losing significant funds because of cancellations, while others are already planning post-isolation holidays.

Mozo conducted this research in June to investigate how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Aussie travellers and what their holiday plans are for the future. Many are putting travel on the backbench, but others are still planning domestic and international travel within the year. And while potential airline travellers are being cautious about cheap flights and third-party booking sites, there seems to be less of concern around travel insurance

How much money did travellers lose due to Covid-19?

Mozo’s research found a third of those travellers financially affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns lost up to $10,000. One particularly unlucky traveller saw an eye-popping $85,680 go down the holiday drain.

Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said the significant impact to people’s savings accounts will potentially have a long-lasting negative impact on the travel industry.

“With many consumers still waiting for refunds following Covid cancellations and footage of travellers being stretchered from cruise ships around the world still fresh in our minds, it’s little wonder the travel industry’s reputation has been bruised,” Lamont said.

Are Australians still planning holidays in 2020?

Many cooped-up families and isolated workers are itching to get out on the open road as travel restrictions shift around the country. 

The majority who are making plans are considering local holidays, with 44% planning domestic travel within the year. While affordability did come into the equation, supporting Australian tourism industries was the most prominent holiday motivation survey respondents cited.

There is less of a rush to fly beyond national borders. Around 80% of survey respondents don’t intend to travel internationally this year. The high figure isn’t surprising, since an international travel ban is still indefinitely in place for all Australians unless they’re granted an exemption by the government.

Travel insurance in the future?

When considering future travel plans, 60% of respondents in Mozo’s survey said they would travel without travel insurance. Lamont urged Australians to look upon this kind of insurance as essential, as there are still a huge range of unforeseeable events which could impact you financially while travelling.

“Although Covid-19 is now a ‘known event’ around the world and most likely won’t be covered under your policy, it’s concerning that many people are turning their back on travel insurance,” she said.

“Amid the uncertainty, if you are tempted to take off on holiday, the first thing you should be packing is a travel insurance policy that suits you and the trip you’re taking.”

Travellers wary of cheap flights and bookings sites

To encourage spending and aid recovery, many airlines and booking agencies have been offering incentives like ultra cheap flights and holiday packages – but Aussie travellers are proceeding with caution.

Mozo’s research found 78% are avoiding buying cheap airline tickets due to uncertainty around travel restrictions and other impacts of the pandemic. 

There’s also some concern around travel booking websites, with almost a third of survey respondents not planning to book through a third party travel site in the future. When asked to rank these sites, Skiddoo, Skyscanner and Lastminute.com were the least popular, with Flight Centre scoring the top spot.

While international holidays may be off the cards for some time, you can still plan an adventure closer to home. If you’re driving, make sure you’re covered with the most suitable car insurance using Mozo’s comparison guide. 

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