Australian holidays in crisis amid worrying price spike

Holidays in Australia are in crisis as the cost of accommodation explodes to exorbitant levels and airports are hit with a large number of canceled flights.

Holidays in Australia are in crisis as the cost of accommodation soars to exorbitant levels and airports are hit with scores of canceled flights amid crippling labor shortages.

It hasn’t exactly been cheap to vacation in the country for many years, but staggering figures show it has gone from bad to worse in the past 13 months.

Data from trivago – which records hotel price changes from over 400 booking sites for more than 2 million hotels around the world in its Hotel Price Index – revealed an astronomical increase in the price of a Australian getaway.

It shows that the average price of a hotel in Sydney has jumped nearly 25% over the past year, while hotel rooms in Melbourne have seen a 24% rise over the same period.

This means that the average cost of a hotel room in Sydney is now over $240 per night, up from $206 per night a year ago. For Melbourne, the average cost is now $239, down from $200 in August last year.

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll also pay more, as the average cost of ski holiday accommodation in Australia has risen 17% from pre-pandemic levels, according to KAYAK.

Chaos at airports

It’s not just hotels where Australians face problems when traveling domestically with a large number of canceled flights.

New figures show one in 13 Qantas flights were canceled in May as the airline grappled with staffing issues after laying off large numbers of workers during the pandemic.

Domestic punctuality statistics for May – published by the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) – show Qantas canceled 7.6% of scheduled flights that month, compared to 5.1% in April.

It is also not the only airline to abandon flights, with Virgin Australia canceling 5.1% of flights in May.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said the airline was working through the issues it was facing, admitting it was “a bit rusty” after emerging from the pandemic.

“We are adjusting our schedule and bringing in additional resources,” Joyce told an international airline conference in Qatar this week.

“We are, at the moment, in the process of resolving operational issues to bring our punctuality back to what it was before Covid-19. And we believe that in the weeks to come, we will have.

“It’s the same problem that I think the whole industry is facing and there’s this reboot of a business that’s been in hibernation for a few years. And I don’t think it’s a surprise that it’s a little rusty.

Lack of staff to blame

The problems faced by hotels are also due to staffing issues, according to Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson, who said a surge in accommodation bookings had come at a time when the industry was still struggling. hard to find workers.

“We are still over 100,000 working holidaymakers down on pre-restriction levels and over 150,000 international students down. Those two alone make up a large portion of hotel and hospitality staff,” he said. The Guardian.

Mr Johnson said staff shortages were forcing many hotels to work at 70-80 per cent capacity, with current staff already stretched to the limit.

“I know hotels that are still looking for 30 to 40 employees, instead of running two restaurants, they’re just running one,” he said. “They don’t take conference bookings because they just don’t have the staff to handle those bookings.”

Australians still love to travel

Despite all this and the rising cost of living, Australians have not been deterred from travelling, according to Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker.

More than one in two Australians (57%) are planning a getaway in the next 12 months, with 32% planning to travel within Australia, 12% planning to travel overseas and 13% planning to travel to both at home and abroad.

That’s up from 49% in December.

According to Finder’s Covid Comfort Indicator, Australians rank their comfort level with overseas travel at 4.3 out of 10, up from 2.7 in January. They feel a bit more comfortable with domestic travel, rating it 6.1 out of 10.

“The travel industry is finally seeing some normalcy for the first time in over two years. People aren’t as concerned about price, they just want to travel again,” said Angus Kidman, travel expert at Finder. .

Money saving tips

Mr Kidman encouraged travelers to seek out travel deals to cut costs.

“You can save by not paying extra for checked bags, but remember that the airline will often check if you are overweight at the gate. Pack lightly and invest in a luggage scale,” he said.

“Regular airline sales can definitely help you save. Virgin Australia’s Happy Hour sale usually takes place on Thursdays from 4pm-11pm, while Jetstar’s Friday fare spree usually kicks off on Fridays from 12pm-8pm.

He said to sign up for your favorite travel sites and airline newsletters and social media so you can quickly get sale fares.

“If you have specific destinations in mind, check the regular prices now. That way you’ll know if that sale price is really a bargain,” he said.

“The key to getting the most out of any travel sale is to be flexible with dates and open-minded about destinations. Don’t forget to get your travel insurance as soon as you’ve locked in your trip.

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