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International travel set to boom in 2023

written by Daniel Croft | January 18, 2023

Australia is set for a big year for travel in 2023 following the pandemic grounding air travel worldwide.

With countries like China and one of the most in-demand destinations, Japan, opening up their borders once more as well as travel numbers reaching pre-pandemic levels, the tourism industry is set to boom.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), travel has returned to the same level that it was just prior to the pandemic in late 2019.

“During the first few lockdowns of 2020, there were reports that the airline industry and international travel would return to its 2019 state in 2024,” said money and travel manager for CHOICE, Jodi Bird.


“Possibly later this year or the next, we will start to get back to normal.”

Christmas saw international travel numbers increase almost tenfold, reaching 1,177,430 in November, up from just 1652,610 in October.

Spurring on the increase in travel, along with high demand, is an expected drop in airfares. The Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research’s government index is showing that airfares are at their lowest since August.

The drop comes after the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned airlines that it would be monitoring airfares carefully after they skyrocketed following the end of lockdowns and planes getting back in the sky.

That being said, the ACCC does expect that prices may be influenced by current struggles that airlines are still facing.

“Airfares have risen due to strong demand for travel and constrained supply as airlines have scaled back their schedules in response to high jet fuel costs and operational challenges,” said Anna Brakey, ACCC commissioner.

“We accept that the airlines are still experiencing some pandemic-related resource challenges.”

Qantas, Rex and Virgin are all looking at a return to profitability, with prices pushed up by reduced flight numbers.

Virgin is looking to once again join the ASX as profits turn around following several years of losses.

The airline’s owner, Bain Capital, has hinted heavily at making the airline public again but has said in the case that Virgin did get relisted, it would maintain a “significant shareholding”.

Bain Capital has said it is yet to make any financial decisions.

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