Finally, some good news for travel as Sydney comes out of lockdown

October 18, 2021

There’s no doubt the last 2 years have been very tough on Australia’s tourism industry, but the last 6 months have proven to be the toughest as Australia’s two biggest population centres, Sydney and Melbourne, have remained in perpetual lockdown.

But after a seemingly endless downturn we are finally seeing some early signs that the tourism sector could not only be recovering, but shaping up for a big summer of travel.

While there is still uncertainty around specific dates and restrictions with interstate travel, the rate at which willing travellers are searching for flights has significantly increased as more freedoms are returned to the citizens. To illustrate this, we are going to take a look at search trends for people in Sydney.

The below graph shows the search volume of people in Sydney looking for flights to any destination in Australia.

Source: Skyscanner October 2021

At its lowest point, just 4,279 searches were performed in a week for people looking to travel domestically from Sydney.

However, in the past 2 weeks as the lockdown has started to recede, there has been a 661% increase in search volumes. This is the best indication we have seen since the pandemic started that people are enthusiastically looking to get back to travelling.

So where are they looking to travel?

Source: Skyscanner October 2021

Top 15 Destinations

Source: Skyscanner October 2021


·       Search trends through the lockdowns for Sydney were terrible...but there is hope on the horizon

·       At the lowest point in lockdown, there was just 4,279 searches for domestic travel from Sydney. This week, that number has gone up 661% as lockdowns are relaxed

·       Queensland is by far the preferred destination with a market share of 42% of all searches. The next closest is regional NSW with 12% of all searches

·       Queensland has 6 out of the top 15 destination searches

·       In terms of individual towns, Gold Coast is the number 1 destination people are looking to fly to. Gold Coast alone has more searches than all of the states!