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South Australians want to stretch their legs after lockdown

Tourism

People are more inclined to undertake planned exercise when holidaying in their own backyard, according to a survey released today.

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A survey conducted by Flinders University has found Australians, in particular South Australians, are more inclined to holiday at home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conducted by senior lecturer in tourism management Dr Gareth Butler and geography lecturer Dr Gerti Szili, the survey of 810 adults is a snapshot of what the future holds for local tourism businesses.

Dr Butler said there was a significant rise in people wanting to engage in planned exercise, which he attributed to respondents living in high-density areas.

“Lots of people we surveyed have been based in urban settings,” Dr. Butler said.

“These people are not only interested to engage in leisure, but interested to kick-start their health as well.

“I think we are going to see a bit of a drive in terms of people wanting to get outside and back into nature, which is a good thing from a South Australia perspective because we are trying to position ourselves as a nature based destination.”

While nature based holidays and activities will benefit, festivals and large sporting events will be negatively affected, according to Dr Butler.

The survey asked respondents what they “typically” did in terms of leisure activity before the COVID-19 outbreak, and what they “anticipated” to do once restrictions eased, enabling the researchers to see a distinct shift in the mindset of respondents.

There was a 29.1 per cent decline in respondents wanting to attend cultural or music festivals, while the survey also found that there was a 21 per cent decline in people wanting to attend sporting events in the future.

“Of course here in South Australia, being the festival state, it is quite concerning,” Dr Butler said.

“Things that involve mass gatherings have understandably raised a lot of concerns.”

Dr Butler said, however, it’s not all doom and gloom for the state’s tourism industry, with the majority of participants wanting to visit regions that had been affected by the recent bushfires.

“A lot of people are going to be motivated by a desire to try and help regions that they deemed to be affected by things like the bushfires,” Dr Butler said.

“(There) are indications that people want to go to locations like KI and the Adelaide Hills.”

According to Dr Butler, South Australians want to re-engage in tourism as quickly as possible, with 80.1 per cent of participants indicating they will take day trips within three months after restrictions are relaxed or removed, and two-thirds planning intrastate overnight holidays.

When asked if and when will they take an interstate holiday, 29.4 per cent were “unsure”, with Dr Butler citing the second wave outbreak of COVID-19 in the Eastern states, in particular Victoria, a major factor.

The survey will be released on Friday, 14 August.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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