Forethought Mind and Mood Pulse Australia - January 2022

The Forethought January 2022 Mind and Mood pulse report has found declines in attendance at restaurants, cafes, pubs and other Hospitality venues, while COVID-related Travel concerns rise.

Analytics

Forethought Mind and Mood Pulse Australia - January 2022

Posted 03 Feb 2022

As the responsibility for COVID risk management falls to the individual, Hospitality and Travel are impacted amid the spread of Omicron.

The Forethought January 2022 Mind and Mood pulse report has found declines in attendance at restaurants, cafes, pubs and other Hospitality venues, while COVID-related Travel concerns rise.

With Australians having now been relieved of the severest of Government-imposed pandemic restrictions for over 3 months, the onus of responsibility for COVID risk management has largely been transferred from State political leadership, to the individual.

The Retail & Hospitality Sector
However, the Omicron wave has spread fresh uncertainty and challenged the willingness of the public to return quickly to the ‘old normal’ of their own accord. Forethought’s latest report reveals that consumer attendance of Hospitality and Beauty businesses has been impacted throughout January (below), while the Australian Financial Review recently reported that nationally, Dining and Shopping spending dipped 39pc in the first week of January 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

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Attendance at various Hospitality and Beauty venues declined in January, showing the public has become less confident to attend certain venues amid the spread of Omicron.

The Travel Sector
Willingness to travel, considered a rite of passage for many Australians during a typical festive season, also declined in January.

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Less Australians are considering an interstate trip now than in November, a figure which declined in December and stayed relatively stable in January. Also, a third of Australians now don’t intend to travel at all in the near future. Among those who are intending to travel, their priorities are increasingly COVID-centric:

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“After an already exceptionally difficult couple of years for the Hospitality, offline Retail and Travel sectors, the Omicron wave has had a negative impact on consumer willingness to return to these venues and services” commented Forethought Global CEO, Darren Stein. “Anecdotally we have heard that due to the most recent Omicron outbreak, many not only stayed home in the weeks running up to the end of year break to avoid getting Covid prior to going away, but also ended up cancelling their December/January holiday plans altogether for fear of getting stuck while away. So there’s a compounding effect of staying home for fear of getting Covid and not being able to get away, coupled with not going away for fear of getting stuck with Covid at the holiday destination.”

Stein adds, “Hospitality and Retail businesses may need to re-think how best to communicate their COVID-safety policies, to reassure customers they are doing everything in their power to keep them safe. For the Travel sector – with Covid in its various forms lingering - it remains clear that flexible booking policies and proper communication of hygiene, health and safety procedures are critical elements for customers in deciding which airline to fly with on their next trip”.


ABOUT THE RESEARCH

In our Mind & Mood study, Forethought has been tracking Australia’s sense of Normality since 27 March 2020 when our world was first shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been taking a regular pulse of national mind and mood and have now surveyed over 22,000 Australians.

ABOUT FORETHOUGHT

Forethought is a leading customer and marketing analytics and strategy advisory firm.

Forethought, with the largest marketing science team in Australia, partners 80 clients in Australia to drive customer and market share growth via providing the evidence and CMO advisory support focused on customer acquisition and retention strategy and market share growth. In North America, Forethought partners with the fastest growing airline, JetBlue as well as several category leading brands.

For more information please contact:
Rachel Edwardes, GM Marketing 0401 752 663
James McNeill, Marketing Manager 0431 375 023