Park the plane – West Aussies still wandering out yonder

14 April 2022

A Bankwest survey has revealed the mid-2020 call to Wander Out Yonder continues to resonate, with almost all Western Australians planning to take advantage of the Easter and Anzac Day holiday periods doing so within WA.

Bankwest conducted the survey via the Bankwest Ideas Lab – a feedback group comprised of customers and non-customers – with more than 300 Western Australians responding.

The consecutive weekends of Easter and Anzac Day mean workers could have up to 11 days off work by applying for just four days leave, with the results showing 28 per cent of Western Australians intend on seizing the days.

However, despite the state’s borders now open to interstate and international travel, the responses suggested traveling abroad was not a priority, with 80 per cent of those taking holidays not intending to leave WA.

Intrastate travel within Western Australia was the most common response, with 44 per cent of those taking time off staying within the state, while 27 per cent said they were taking leave from work and simply staying home.

Only 13 per cent intended to travel interstate, while six per cent were planning to travel overseas.

The survey also revealed the accommodation preferences of different age groups and life stages since WA’s borders closed, with 18-34-year-olds splashing out on Airbnb properties (40%) and five-star hotels (32%).

The cohort also appeared to be embracing the Wander Out Yonder call and ready to treat themselves, with 53 per cent of 18-34-year-olds more likely to consider holidaying at a luxury lodge or retreat since state borders closed.

However, the upcoming break appears to be a more modest affair, with 37 per cent of those taking leave planning to go camping, while 26 per cent intend on booking an Airbnb property.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “We’ve consistently seen Western Australians adapting to the changing conditions that the pandemic has placed them in, and it appears even our holiday tastes have evolved.

“With an opportunity for almost two weeks off for very little leave time, this would have been an ideal opportunity for people to head interstate if that was their desire, but instead we see more than 70 per cent staying within WA.

“It seems the inability to spend interstate or overseas for the past two years has also had people – particularly young Western Australians – start looking for home-based luxury experiences, such as lodges and retreats.

“It will be interesting to see if that trend remains or if, once people feel comfortable to resume their pre-COVID lifestyles, whether interest in home-state luxury escapes decreases and interstate travel returns to normal.

“The trend towards Airbnb properties, particularly in younger Western Australians, could also be a result of the pandemic, with people now preferring to have their own space by renting a property, instead of communal options.”

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