New study reveals persistent rain and floods to have major impact on domestic tourism

Road closed due to flooding

A recent study completed by InsureandGo, has revealed that the recent heavy rain and flooding in Australia’s south-east regional areas will have a major impact on domestic tourism in 2023.

The results indicate that 68 per cent of holiday makers will avoid the at-risk regional locations this year as higher than average rainfall is again predicted and some areas already receiving flood warnings.

The finding was derived from a survey of an independent panel of 1001 Australian travellers.

InsureandGo found that a quarter of respondents said they were deterred from planning a holiday to a region that was impacted by floods in 2022.

A further 21 per cent of respondents said that they would not take a regional holiday in the near future while heavy rains and floods continue to impact the country.

24 per cent of respondents are still eager to travel regionally by plane, but they will avoid specific regions that require them to drive there, in case their route is impacted by extreme rainfall or flooding, while one third will stick with their regional travel plans in 2023.

Older Australians were more likely to go ahead with regional travel plans despite the weather: 35 per cent of over-50s would travel regionally, compared with 32 per cent of those aged 31-50 and only 27 per cent of under-30s.

ACT residents are more likely to be deterred from regional travel due to the rain and flooding, with only 18 per cent willing to go ahead with regional holidays in 2023, compared with an equal 38 per cent of Queensland, South Australia and West Australian residents.

“Flash flooding in 2022 has had a devastating impact on local communities in eastern and northern States of Australia. Many holidayers are taking additional precautions while travelling than they would have in previous years,” chief commercial officer, InsureandGo, Jonathan Etkind, said.

“Older Australians and residents from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia who have higher levels of confidence visiting the regional areas will be providing much needed economic support to flood-affected towns.”

InsureandGo Survey. (Supplied)

Australians will take multiple measures to minimise the risks of holiday disruptions this year 

InsureandGo asked respondents which, if any, precautions they would take to safeguard the costs of a planned holiday from disruptions such as flooding, cancellations or delays. It found 95 per cent of respondents would take at least one precaution in a list presented to them, indicating that more than nine in 10 respondents believe 2023 will likely be another year of holiday disruptions. The list included:

  • Booking accommodation that accepts payments close to the travel date and no-penalty cancellations.
  • Booking flexible flights that can be refunded or redeemed at a later date.
  • Booking hire cars that accept penalty-free cancellations.
  • Taking out travel insurance and looking for travel insurance that covers natural disasters.

This year, 62 per cent would look for late-payment bookings and last-minute penalty-free cancellations. More than half (57 per cent) would choose flexible flights that can be refunded or redeemed later. Nearly a third (29 per cent) would get natural disaster coverage. Just over a quarter (27 per cent) said they would choose a car hire option with free cancellations.

Jonathan said: “Our research reveals that Australians are placing greater value on options, to enable them to safeguard the costs of a planned holiday if something goes wrong. Domestic travel insurance with natural disaster cover can give travellers peace of mind knowing they are protected with travel insurance when travelling to areas with some risk. Travellers are best to be sensible and take precautions when visiting at-risk areas. Often benefits of natural disaster cover include accommodation and transport cancellations, emergency accommodation and transport, 24/7 emergency assistance, replacements or refunds for affected personal belongings.”

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