13.11.2020Finally set free – Victorians are keen to travel ‘local’ and spend up big on Christmas

Confidence is returning quickly to Victorians. Buoyed by the continued run of days free of new COVID-19 cases, coupled with the on-going easing of restrictions across the State, Victorians are now eagerly seeking to explore within the State, Newgate’s weekly COVID-19 community sentiment tracker reveals.

Getting Away

Having exceeded 100 days in its second stage lockdown, where the metaphorical “ring of steel” kept Melbournians from visiting Victoria’s many regional and rural destinations, Victorians are now indicating a clear preference for travel plans within the state over the summer period. As the Victorian Government kicks off a new regional tourism campaign, Newgate’s research shows:

  • 56 per cent of Victorians are planning to travel within Victoria, compared to 58 per cent of Australians nationally planning tourism within their state
  • 26 per cent are planning to visit another state, against 22 per cent nationally
  • 32 per cent are planning no travel, against 31 per cent nationally

These positive results show Victorians in-line with national travel intentions. In more strong news for Victorian tourism:

  • 21 per cent of Australians planning interstate travel have Victoria on the itinerary
  • 55 per cent of these interstate visitors will be coming from New South Wales

And providing positive news for the Victorian retail and hospitality industry, the same research revealed 73 per cent of Victorians plan to spend either the same or even more than last year in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas Shopping

Victorians are less likely to go back into stores to buy Christmas presents (46 per cent) than people other states (65 per cent). With Christmas presents, holidays and day-trips set out as key areas of spending over the coming months, Newgate’s research found an interesting delineation in Christmas shopping preferences of Victorians; in-line with national preferences:

  • 76 per cent planning to shop mostly in-store for Christmas and festive period food, 70 per cent will shop mostly in-store for alcohol, and 61 per cent will shop in-store for party supplies; and
  • 54 per cent of Victorians are planning to shop for presents either mostly online or a combination of in-store and online

As Melbourne’s community expands the re-opening and a return to economic activity, we hope that Newgate’s research findings can help inform decisions made by the Committee for Melbourne and its members. Understanding the challenges and opportunities arising from public perceptions of COVID-19 will help to drive behaviours and business decisions as we move towards COVID-normal and our economic recovery.

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