Latest News

Back to Latest News back


University of Queensland study shows COVID denied Queenslanders millions of holidays

University of Queensland study shows COVID denied Queenslanders millions of holidays
July 8, 2021

According to a study by University of Queensland academics, COVID-19 has deprived Queenslanders of almost 4.7 million holidays - including more than 2.4 million domestic vacations and 2.2 million international trips.

UQ Business School’s Professor Bob McKercher and colleagues Dr Karen Hughes and Dr Mucha Mkono surveyed more than 800 Queensland residents over the age of 25 during May and early June this year.

Participants were asked about their travel patterns during 2019, 2020 and so far in 2021; how many trips were cancelled, postponed or are unlikely to be taken in anticipation of a COVID lockdown.

Professor McKercher said the lost holidays had several serious repercussions for those involved noting “apart from the economic losses of these forsaken trips, which are well known, the biggest cost is to the mental health of Queensland residents.

“More than half of the people we talked to identified the mental health benefits of escape – recharging one’s batteries, simply having a break from day-to-day lives, or being able to spend time with family and friends – as the greatest benefit of travel.”

“I need it to relieve a stressful lifestyle,” one respondent said.

While another said “seeing new places and experiencing new things keeps life interesting, helps keep the mind stimulated and fights off depressive episodes.”

“We found domestically, some 800,000 trips within Queensland were lost thanks to the pandemic,” added Professor McKercher.

“Another 1.7 million trips elsewhere in the country were either cancelled or postponed with little chance of being taken.”

The research revealed Asian destinations suffered the most internationally, with some 750,000 trips by Queenslanders to those destinations put on hold, followed by half a million visits to Europe. 

New Zealand was also affected with 330,000 trips cancelled, with 75% of people planning holidays there in recent times forced to change their plans due to COVID.

Professor McKercher said the study showed it was vital for both people’s emotional well-being and economic reasons to get back to the new normal as soon as possible.

“Our results show just how important the ‘soft’ benefits of tourism are to individuals, and in fact, the personal benefits of travel may equal and possibly outweigh the economic benefits.”

Related Articles

7th July 2021 - Pause in trans-Tasman travel bubble hits New Zealand tourism

7th July 2021 - Indonesian Government forced to further delay Bali tourism reopening

5th July 2021 - Tourism stakeholders launch ‘Back to Bali’ campaign

30th June 2021 - United Nations report says COVID-19 impact on tourism could deal $4 trillion blow to global economy

23rd June 2021 - GlobalData forecasts Australian domestic tourism to reach record high by 2025

22nd June 2021 - Australia’s export tourism industry asks for clarity on reopening plans

18th June 2021 - WTTC insight papers released to help drive sustainability in tourism

11th June 2021 - NSW tourism operators call on Federal Government for targeted support to survive Coronavirus crisis

30th April 2021 - Major Queensland tourism industry bodies collaborate for industry sustainability

20th March 2021 - Industry Panel formed to chart Queensland tourism industry recovery

1st February 2021 - Queensland tourism industry anticipates Easter boost from Sydney visitors 

27th November 2020 - Village Roadshow leads Queensland tourism operators in advertising summer positions

31st August 2020 - $11.3 million funding boost announced for Far North Queensland tourism

10th August 2020 - South-East Queensland tourism boosted by moving Ekka public holiday

1st June 2020 - Queensland Tourism Industry Council welcomes further easing of COVID-19 restrictions

9th May 2020 - Queensland Tourism Industry Council welcomes recovery guidelines

19th January 2020 - Queensland tourism experiences record growth in American visitors

14th January 2020 - South East Queensland tourism strategy announced

1st October 2019 - Queensland Tourism Digital Workforce Development and Training Plan gets industry launch

26th September 2019 - Queensland tourism boosted by partnership with Alipay

6th September 2018 - Australia’s longest rail trail to boost South East Queensland tourism

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

@leisure Planners

@leisure is a team of experienced leisure, aquatic and sports facility managers and planners, with market modelling, sports management, recreation planning, business and GIS qualifications. We have…

read more




Intelligenz provides Leisure Management Software for managing all your Program Registrations, Facility Bookings, Membership Sales and POS Transactions; including detailed Reporting, automated…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks



Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation


ProSlide Technology

ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks



Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing


Yellowbox Lockers

Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Entertainment / Retail / Security


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business