We’ve seen the ads, and heard the politician’s pleas, but the message of ‘holiday at home’ hasn’t been enough to stem the tourism industry’s woes during the pandemic. 

Local ‘mum and dad’ tour operators are still reeling from the ongoing border closures affecting traveller confidence.  

While some parts of the domestic tourism industry have benefited from the ban on Australians travelling overseas, our overall expenditure on domestic travel dropped 42 per cent from January to June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, down from $51.9bn to just $30.2bn. 

Overnight stays fell by 62 per cent in the June quarter of 2020, with resorts and hotel accommodation seeing a staggering drop, from 20.9 million nights to just 4.4 million.  

Unsurprisingly, impromptu border closures and lockdown periods have heavily affected domestic travel even for the Aussies most willing and able to get out and explore their own backyard.  

The worry is that consumer confidence continues to remain low. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ATIC members have reported a 35 per cent drop in rolling forward bookings, and ‘report they won’t be able to remain open without assistance’.  

It’s clear that consumers who haven’t felt a financial hit from COVID-19 are still unwilling to book holidays too far ahead in the future – not surprising, when travel can be curtailed at a moment’s notice and insurance excludes pandemic cover.   

So, how can the everyday Aussie help support our local tourism industry while minimising the risk to their own finances? 

One of the first options we would recommend is to take advantage of free cancellations.  

Book your hotel through MyShoppingCarte and you can filter hotels by ‘free cancellation’. A quick search for weekend in Sydney lists 319 hotels that allow you to cancel free of charge up to 48 hours before your stay.  

Note that this option is usually more expensive than a non-refundable charge, but it may be worth paying extra for peace of mind.  

If border closures and flight cancellations are putting you off travel, your safest option is to holiday in your own state.  

As restrictions ease, MyShoppingCarte has seen a surge in the number of resorts offering up to 60% off rack rates for short stays aiming to get locals through the door.  

Keep an eye out for local deals – there are new deals appearing every day.  

Finally, if a big trip is out of the question but you still fancy a mini-break, why not spoil yourself and make a night of it.  

Our hotel booking platform is showing Saturday night rates slashed by up to 50% in our major cities, starting from as little as $120 for a night in Melbourne CBD.  

If you’re heading out on the town, there’s no better way to end the night than to check in to a plush city centre hotel and relax.