As restrictions on travel ease around Australia, lockdown-weary Victorians are champing at the bit to travel locally and interstate in great numbers as soon as they can.
This is according to research commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association in partnership with the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), which revealed that nearly two-thirds of RACV members surveyed say they will take more trips away interstate and intrastate than they did before Covid-19.
RACV Executive General Manager for Leisure, Craig Peachey, said the research was another critical piece for understanding confidence to travel.
“This survey detailing members’ confidence of when and where they expect to travel, and what they may be required to do to travel, is important for all industry stakeholders – and especially government decision makers – to understand. The survey is like a business confidence index for travel,” he said.
A measured pathway to opening up
The research showed members surveyed want a measured and balanced pathway to opening up travel and mobility.
The use of vaccination certificates to help people travel had overwhelming support, with 79% of people saying they would use a vaccination certificate to cross a state or territory border.
Other survey statistics included: 78% of people saying they plan to travel to a different country when possible; 73% want to attend hospitality venues like pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes; 69% plan to go to larger indoor venues like shopping centres, stations and airports; and 66% said they would attend large events in places like stadiums.
“Right now, 93% of members surveyed say the risk of disruption, cancellation or having to quarantine means it’s not worth the stress or hassle of booking trips away. Over 70% of members surveyed want state borders kept open after 70% of eligible Australians are double vaccinated,” Peachey said.
“Certainty and consistency will be absolutely critical for people [to] have [the] confidence to book trips and travel, and for operators to return staff to work and fulfil bookings. Victoria is now well and truly on the path to re-opening, and it will be important that we can stay open.”
Current 14-day isolation requirements
According to the RACV, the recent changes in relation to secondary close contacts are a positive step to enabling hospitality businesses to re-open and stay open, but the current 14-day isolation requirements for all primary close contacts – even those who are vaccinated – presents an impossible challenge for operators.
“All hospitality operators have invested heavily into their CovidSafe Plans to keep their guests and team members safe, and all accommodation workers are now required to be vaccinated in line with the government requirements,” Peachey stated.
“Despite this, a business can be crippled by the loss of vaccinated team members who are currently required to isolate for 14 days if they’ve inadvertently attended a tier one exposure site.
“This quickly becomes unworkable, and we need more streamlined testing and isolation requirements for vaccinated team members,” he emphasised.