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Travel bug starting to bite harder

The implications for retail spending

04 July 2022

As we enter the northern hemisphere summer, Australians are embracing travel again, but tourism spending is still far below pre COVID-19 levels. The drag on retail as consumers reallocate spending remains modest. Data shows airline capacity for Australia is still 15% below pre COVID-19 levels at June 2022 and much lower than that for international flights. The switch from retail to travel is likely to peak in 2023, in our view, adding to the headwind for retail next year.


Chart: Index of quarterly spending March ’22 vs December ’19 (selected items)

Source: ABS, MST Marquee. Shows quarterly data, seasonally adjusted.

The Retail Mosaic Issue 2

The potential rebound in tourism and holidays

22 December 2021

Australians like to holiday both locally and overseas. With locked borders over 2020 and 2021, reduced tourism spend has been a source of savings and some of the spare cash has also made its way into retail. As tourism recovers, will retail sales slow? In Issue 2 of The Retail Mosaic, we analyse the change in tourism spending over recent years and assess the possible recovery path and its impact on retail. The good news for retailers is that any recovery in tourist spending is likely to be gradual and centre on domestic trips. Given almost half of spending by tourists while on domestic holidays is in retail stores, then the recovery in holidays may prove to be a smaller drag on retail than some fear

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