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As vaccination rates increase ActiveXchange advises of COVID trends to empower decision making

As vaccination rates increase ActiveXchange advises of COVID trends to empower decision making
September 16, 2021

With vaccination rates increasing daily across Australia and many parts of the industry preparing for what it says is “its inevitable rebound in the coming weeks”, data technology platform ActiveXchange has shared its findings on likely consumer behaviour.

Advising that “this will be the first time Australia is looking to ease restrictions despite the high record of new cases.

“But, even after re-opening, gyms and pools will likely face increased restrictions compared to previous periods, and operators need to prepare for change and the likely differences in concern and risk for specific cohorts.”

The immediate decisions ahead to maximise impact
As decisions loom, Operators must remain focussed on the deeper trends and analysis that enable decision making. Some recommendations for reopening include:

1. Be cautious of a decline in visitation over previous rates from members aged over 45.

It is possible members from these age groups will be more cautious despite receiving two doses of vaccination, because of higher risk factors for mature age groups.

Data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (click here) correlated with our data indicates that the visitation rate after lockdown lifted in Victoria regional area (on 9th August), is on average 7% greater for members under 40 (refer to graph below). The gap in visitation recovery rate between these two age groups widens in the second and third week after reopening. During this period, Victoria is recording on average 20 new covid cases per day.

Lockdown was reinstated on 21st August.

2. Consider retaining the virtual component even after lockdown is over, especially given the uncertainties of what lies ahead. Be prepared for a more permanent interest in online classes. This will help to retain members who are more cautious, i.e. underlying health conditions and aged over 45 years old.

3. Restrictions mean smaller classes and therefore use of fewer machines. It is important to understand member’s preferences in types of machines and programs and utilise the limited space to achieve maximum satisfaction.

Victorian’s change in preference between 2019 and 2021 are notable:

i. Huge decline in the attendance for cycling-related programs, estimated at a reduction of 99%.
ii. In 2019 aqua related programs are the most popular among the age group 45 and above. This is still the case in 2021 but the attendance rate dropped by 69% for these classes.
iii. 200% increase in Pilates program attendance for members over 45.

4. Decline in program attendance rate for children under 12. As this population group will not be vaccinated and is likely to avoid attending indoor facilities.

5. Program scheduling is also crucial to accommodating members under the aforementioned groups. Avoiding peak hours and crowds may possibly increase these member’s confidence in attending the facility.

The Data behind the insights:

  • Extremely high suspension rates across NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, coupled with a noticeably declining cancellation rate.
  • A small decline in live member recovery rate since June 2021. The decline of 4%, 2% and 7% in Victoria, NSW*, and Queensland respectively.
  • Tasmania shows improvement in unique visits, a growth of 2% from last month. This is the only state that has been COVID-free for the last 12 consecutive months.

*Regional lockdown started on 14th August. The analysis was based on the data from regional centres.

Please refer to the recovery rate comparison table for Australia (above) to better understand how you can use data to connect with broader market trends.

Click here to contact ActiveXchange via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Related Articles

13th September 2021 - MCG encourages sport and entertainment fans to get vaccinated

10th September 2021 - Australian Vaccine Passports potentially ready within weeks

10th September 2021 - SportWest announces data partnership with ActiveXchange

9th September 2021 - Carlile Swimming mandates staff vaccination

9th September 2021 - Gyms, stadiums and recreation facilities to reopen to fully vaccinated adults as part of NSW’s new roadmap to ‘freedom’

8th September 2021 - Tamworth Sports Dome to host vaccination hub

8th September 2021 - Fitness Australia survey reveals NSW members against vaccine passports and staff vaccinations

6th September 2021 - 90% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff heading towards becoming fully vaccinated

25th August 2021 - ActiveXchange partners with Sport and Recreation ACT to inform sector

23rd August 2021 - ActiveXchange’s data on facility reopening to feature at Virtual Fitness Summit

29th July 2021 - Analysis of aquatic and fitness centres performance through June shows changing consumer behaviour

28th June 2021 - SportsEye Academy hosts panel discussion in Perth

27th May 2021 - Changing look of usage of council-owned fitness facilities

11th May 2021 - ActiveXchange partners with Royal Life Saving to deliver water safety data

29th April 2021 - Australian College of Physical Education and ActiveXchange announce partnership agreement

29th March 2021 - ActiveXchange reveals new initiatives as part of Federal Government-backed scale-up

26th February 2021 - Global Leisure Group teams with ActiveXchange and SportsEye New Zealand

11th February 2021 - ActiveXchange market intelligence shows members quick to cancel unused memberships


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