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Aussies among travel spend recovery leaders

Few, if any, industries have been as hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic as travel. But there are signs that travel spend is on the road to recovery, especially in Australia.

According to a new report released by Mastercard, Australia ranks among the top four G20 nations in terms of recovery of travel and entertainment (T&E) spend, with the country seeing over 60% of spend recovered in July 2020 compared to July 2019. Only Italy, Russia and France have recovered better in terms of T&E spend across the G20. 



Focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on travel expenditure, Mastercard’s Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In report shows that consumers are increasingly travelling and spending closer to home, with vehicle rental’s share of total transportation spend nearly doubling from 9% in 2019 to 17% in Q2 2020. 


Analysing aggregated sales activity across the Mastercard network, the report also found that consumers are turning to boutique offerings for accommodation, with the recovery of small independent hotels outpacing the recovery of large properties by over 50%.  


Interestingly, according to the report, consumer spend is recovering more quickly than business travel spend, at least when it comes to flights and car rentals.   

“There’s no doubt that people love to travel. What we’re seeing, though, is that how they’re traveling has adapted during this time,” Mastercard senior advisor Steve Sadove said.


“Gas spending, restaurant spending, bike rental spending - all are improving, showing that the rebound is happening but is focused on local travel and local spending.”


Despite its strong travel recovery spend, Australia’s airline recovery spend is lower than its US and European counterparts, with expenditure on flights at less than 20% in July 2020 relative to last year.


Travellers from NSW (36%), Victoria (26%), and Queensland (23%) accounted for 85% of all international spend in Australia from July 2018 to June 2020, with total international spend in Australia decreasing by 24% between 2018-19 and 2019-20 (July 2018 to June 2020).


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 7 September 2020

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