Multiple current sources of data are showing a switch of high-volume traveller habits in a post-COVID-19 world. These changes include a large-scale exodus of international travel intenders (those who classically would take multiple overseas trips per year) to becoming domestic travel intenders.
Whilst most may think this is a bi-product of COVID-19, the same data shows that this switch has been occurring on a much smaller scale over a longer period. Knight Frank’s worldwide study on habits of the top 1% (named The Wealth Report) reflects this change in their most recent study based on 2019 data. The data shows that the classic jetsetter is trading their frequent flyers pass in for the purchase of a property in Australian and closer international wellness hubs such as Byron Bay.
Part of this trend switch has had to do with ease of access to travel internationally. Making airports of the past a typically busy and frustrating environment even for those travellers who hold business and first-class tickets. That coupled with long flight times had been driving a push for more exclusive and beautiful domestic travel. COVID-19 simply catalysed the environment.
The report also stipulates that the change in travel habits did not mean that the wealthy were not travelling internationally, they were just travelling internationally less and opting for destinations which can be accessed quickly but still were considered luxurious.
Other ideas for the change to domestic travel offered in the report include the higher availability of cheap private travel domestically and a lack of time which business owners and executives can take away from their typical job.
Knight Frank also updated the report during the height of the COVID-19 crisis to show that most of those surveyed in the original report are also intending to purchase short distance travel in the weeks after there was assured security to travel both domestically and internationally.