While overall we’ve been extremely lucky in Australia when it comes to the impact of the coronavirus, it is still great to hear some of the early signs of recovery and a positive outlook for hotels.
Here at Hotel Strategy Co. we are already seeing many of our clients experiencing some modest uplift in demand, but in particular, there are 3 items that gave me cause to smile over the past week.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state-wide non-essential travel ban will be lifted effective 1st June 2020. Furthermore, she has encouraged people to begin booking holidays! This is great news not only within the state of NSW, but it also effectively is opening up the borders for inbound interstate travel.
While this doesn’t fully free up the border restrictions across Australia (yes you can get into NSW but can you get home?), it is a great move and somebody had to lead the way. Now we can look forward to other states falling into line and dropping their border restrictions also. Victoria and ACT have likewise opened up their borders already, but it is the other states and territories we are now waiting on to fully free up the domestic travel scene.
In a report released by Dransfield Futures, there are also reasons to smile. Based upon some pretty dire predictions of protracted international travel restrictions extending well into 2021, Dransfield has taken a mathematical approach in forecasting the future how this could impact domestic travel demand, particularly as it affects Hotels.
Cutting stratight to the chase, it says;
This is great news for Australian Hoteliers, meaning basically those who would’ve gone overseas will now travel domestically instead. That, combined with the return of usual domestic demand, you can expect at least normal trading levels to return, even before the international border restrictions are eased.
While the administrators have whittled it down to a shortlist of 4 potential buyers (you can read about it here), this is not just about saving Virgin Australia the company, it’s about securing a competitive landscape for the future of travel for all Australians. That’s the long and the short of it really. We just need at least 2 major players and this is really good news.
Furthermore, I also heard whispers of $19 flights being made available by Qantas to get the country moving again. This is great news if it is, in fact, a genuine offer.
Right now, Australians need to get on the “Confidence Round About”. After such an uncertain ride of late, we need to push aside all this uncertainty, someone needs to lead the way and start the shift back to normal.
Book a trip, tell friend or two and assure them, the world is fine. They, in turn, book their own trip and tell others the same, and on it goes. A $19 flight, might be just the ticket we need to get people moving again. Well done Qantas. It may not be profitable in the short term, but it can help to break the circuit.
So there you have it, my 3 reasons to cheer this week. I trust, as hoteliers, it also gives reason for cheer and you begin to feel optimism towards the future. The more optimisim and confidence everyone feels, the sooner we can begin to see some normal(ish) trading patterns and just getting on with business under the new normal.
I’m certainly looking forward to it. How about you?
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