SWINE FLU HASN'T AFFECTED TRAVEL PLANS BUT THE GFC HAS
Thursday 13 August 2009: An NRMA Travel consumer sentiment survey of 1,300 NRMA Members has revealed the swine flu pandemic has failed to dent people's travel plans but the global financial crisis (GFC) has had an impact on both business and leisure travel.
Fortunately, there is good news too for both domestic and international leisure tourism with a marked increase in positive consumer sentiment in just three months. The upbeat attitude revealed by the survey translates to a five percentage point rise in respondents believing the next 12 months will be a good time to travel and a 10 percentage point rise in people planning to take an overseas holiday.
NRMA Motoring & Services Group CEO Tony Stuart said while an overwhelming 84 per cent of respondents said swine flu had not affected travel plans.
"Swine flu has not had the same impact as the global economic crisis with just over one in ten citing the illness as a reason for less leisure and business travel," Mr Stuart said.
"The ramifications of the GFC have meant 27 per cent of respondents are less likely to travel while the economy is in its present state.
"The current economic conditions are also having an impact on business travel with 39 per cent of respondents cutting back on flights and accommodation."
Mr Stuart said the quarterly survey's baseline question asking Members if the next 12 months is a good time to travel found 77 per cent believe it's a good time to holiday, up five percentage points on the previous survey conducted in May.
"That's a lot of holiday-makers planning trips both here and overseas as the economy begins to show initial signs of recovery," Mr Stuart said.
"The survey also found 38 per cent are considering an overseas destination - an increase of almost 10 percentage points from last quarter's survey. It appears people are taking advantage of the unprecedented deals on offer for airfares and holiday packages."