Bankwest’s Spend Trends analysis of February has revealed the rush to the skies by Western Australians following the State Government’s revised border reopening date, with key travel sectors soaring in turnover as a result.
And it would seem Perth’s record-breaking summer also had an impact on hip pockets of Western Australians.
Bankwest’s analysis looked at WA customer credit and debit transactions for February, comparing them year-on-year to provide insights into the community’s response to changing economic, pandemic, and travel conditions.
The data showed an immediate and significant response to the State Government’s revised border announcement on 17 February, with Airline spend surging in both transaction value (109%) and volume (81%).
The surge led to a 198 per cent rise in transaction value and 100 per cent in volume for Airlines in February.
It was a trend experienced across several travel-related industries, with Travel Agencies up in value (46%) and volume (17%) in the week following the announcement and for the month (value – 40%; volume – 19%).
The growth was critical for Travel Agencies, with February’s transaction value up 196 per cent and volume 139 per cent year-on-year, as the sector edges closer to recovery after sustaining significant and prolonged losses.
The data shows Travel Agencies are now 35 per cent below pre-pandemic levels in transaction value, and 12 per cent below in volume.
Hotels/Motels also increased in February, up 15 per cent in value and 18 per cent in volume year-on-year, along with Cruise Lines, which lifted 48 per cent in value and 35 per cent in volume.
More people working from home and Perth’s record-breaking summer were the likely causes behind a significant increase in Utilities payments, rising 25 per cent in transaction value and 21 per cent in volume year-on-year.
The analysis also highlighted the community’s response to changing economic conditions, with surging petrol prices leading to a 40 per cent lift in transaction value and 15 per cent in volume year-on-year at Service Stations.
Spending at Department Stores remained consistent for Western Australians, with transactions up 25 per cent in value and 33 per cent in volume year-on-year, so too at Pharmacies (value – 34%; volume – 21%).
Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian highlighted how the Spend Trends data reflected our urge to reconnect with loved ones.
“The immediate surge in travel spending following the border reopening announcement reveals the strong appetite of many West Australians to be reunited with friends and family outside WA as quickly as possible,” he said.
“We saw the heart-warming scenes at Perth Airport when the state’s hard border was removed earlier this month, and we can see in the spending surge on Airlines that Western Australians were waiting for that announcement.
“It’s promising to see Travel Agencies closing in on pre-pandemic transaction volumes – although value remains a way off – but the sustained decrease in turnover was substantial and will likely take some time to recover from.
“It’s also interesting to see the year-on-year increase in spending on Utilities, which can likely be put down to more people working from home as COVID spreads throughout the state, and the fiercely hot summer we experienced."