With borders re-opened, how much are we spending on overseas travel?

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on June 20, 2022 Fact Checked
With borders re-opened, how much are we spending on overseas travel?

Many have jetted off to see the world once again with new NAB data revealing customers spent $46 million on overseas travel in May 2022.

This includes international flights, accommodation, cruises, trains, car rentals, tours, and travel agents. 

The monthly figure for May is the largest amount NAB customers have spent on international travel plans in three years. 

In comparison, customers spent $43 million on overseas travel in May 2019. 

Further data uncovered NAB customers spent $157 million on international travel between 1 January 2022 and 31 May 2022. This is almost 600% more than the same period last year.

With the industry beginning to bounce back, NAB everyday banking executive Paul Riley expects international travel to continue on an upward trend.

"For many Australians it has been two years without international holidays, visiting overseas family and celebrating major milestones like weddings," Mr Riley said.

"It is great to see Australians embracing these important life moments again and putting aside money to make it happen.

"Australians are known for their love affair with seeing the world. We expect to see spending on overseas travel continue with the school holidays starting later this week and the European summer now underway."

The top three countries where Australians are spending their money in foreign currencies are the United States, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates with debit cards the most popular way to pay.

NAB's 'MyGoals' feature in its app revealed some interesting insights about travel intentions, according to Mr Riley.

“We’ve seen more and more holiday goals created as travel opens up. About 25% of all goals were holiday related in May 2022, compared with about 15% the same month last year," he said.

International arrivals and departures begin to increase

According to statistics released by the ABS, 651,060 people arrived in Australia in May this year while 663,970 people departed the country. 

Compared to May 2021, this was a marked increase with only 114,520 people arriving and 107,230 people departing.

It is important to note that these statistics report on international border crossings rather than the number of people.

Easing travel restrictions and the opportunity to see the rest of the world after years of lockdown were the main contributors for the increase in international arrivals and departures.

Read more: Compare travel credit cards


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            Hanan joined Savings.com.au in 2022 as a finance journalist. With a keen interest in home loans, property investing, and money saving tactics, she is passionate about educating young Australians, like herself, on all things finance.

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