Searches for domestic travel are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels in Australia, as coronavirus restrictions ease

The Gold Coast. Image iStock Images / zstockphotos
  • Data from travel price comparison site Kayak has found travel searches in the Asia Pacific, including Australia, are starting to return to 2019 levels, following the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Domestic travel searches in particular are on the rise, with the top searches including the Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns
  • It comes as coronavirus pandemic led to travel bans nationally and internationally, with restrictions slowly starting to ease.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

People searching starting to search for domestic travel destinations as coronavirus restrictions ease across the country.

Research from travel price comparison site Kayak has found that since May 2, domestic travel searches in Australia have grown faster than international searches, and are even starting to return to 2019 levels. Australia is one of the first countries to see this upward trend.

Domestic vs international flight searches. Image: Kayak

When it comes to where exactly people are looking to travel, it’s mainly non-metro destinations. The places that received the biggest search increases were the Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns.

The company highlighted that travellers are getting motivated by news of the coronavirus cases dropping in places like New Zealand and restrictions starting to ease. Japan is reportedly considering allowing 250 business travellers a day from Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam and Thailand, The Japan Times reported.

Kayak’s data shows global flight search trends from the start of the coronavirus pandemic until now. It also compares domestic and international search trends and as well as destination trends.

While travel essentially stopped from the beginning of the pandemic, this has slowly started to change.

“Our industry has a long road to recovery, but I’m encouraged by the positive signs that we are starting to see in consumer travel interest,” Kayak CEO Steve Hafner said in a statement.

The research comes as statewide travel restrictions start to ease in Australia. Earlier this week, South Australia opened its borders to Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

In a survey conducted by Finder, 90% of Australian economists predicted Australia’s international border restrictions won’t be lifted until the start of 2021 at the earliest.

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