Western Australians are ready to take flight, planning long-delayed holidays in 2022. CCIWA’s quarterly Consumer Confidence Survey shows one in two (46%) survey respondents intend to travel internationally in the coming months and years, set to spend an estimated $5.6 billion on short-term holidays.
Around one in three (33%) respondents expect to holiday for up to a month, or to visit family (27%). One in ten plan a longer holiday of up to six months (9%). Another 5% will undertake short-term travel for work.
At the same time, while some West Australians are signaling they intend to leave Australia for an extended period (such as a permanent relocation or working holiday), the number of people in this category does not appear higher than pre-COVID.
Of those taking off, one in four (26%) will travel within six months of the border easing, while nearly half (47%) will travel within a year. Those with higher incomes (64%) and aged between 18-39 years (52%) are most likely to be departing.
Turning to the economy, household confidence held firm ahead of Christmas and the anticipated easing of border restrictions. The longer-term outlook has softened however, with two in five Western Australians (45%) expecting the economy to improve in the year ahead, down 15 points since March. Overall confidence remains above pre-pandemic levels.
So what’s driving confidence? The State Government is cited by nearly three in five respondents (58%) as lifting their confidence. News about Australia’s vaccine rollout boosted confidence for two in five (43%) respondents, while our low unemployment was cited by one in three (37%).
The biggest drag on confidence is rising living costs, concerning nearly three in five WA households (56%), rising eight points. This overtook fears of a COVID outbreak (52%) which fell to its lowest point since the pandemic began (the survey was taken before the Omicron variant emerged). Unease about interest rates also rose 7 points, dampening the outlook of three in ten (30%) respondents.
With domestic economic factors returning to the stage after two years dominated by COVID, CCIWA urges all governments to bring fresh focus to improving conditions for the competitiveness of Australian businesses and the diversification of our economy. In this regard recent moves by the State Government, including the formation of its jobs taskforce and its Reconnect WA package, are welcome.
Read the full Consumer Confidence Report here. https://cciwa.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/1221-Consumer-Confidence.pdf