Despite lagging prior to the pandemic, regional industries are outperforming the cities. Image – Canva
  • Jan 21 saw 15% growth for hospitality and tourism sectors compared to Jan 20
  • Year-on-year regional retail is up 19%
  • Regional Australia is outperforming metro by 30%

Data from the Commonwealth Bank has shown regional Australia is currently experiencing a recovery that is outstripping that of its metropolitan counterparts.

By the end of January 2021 compared to January 2020 – just before the pandemic – the hospitality and tourism sectors in regional Australia experienced a 15% increase in transactions.

The retail sector in regional Australia, surprisingly, recorded a much larger increase – transactions were up 19% year-on-year.

The data is fascinating considering hospitality and tourism in January 2020 were lagging behind metro areas. The tide has turned dramatically with regional Australia now outperforming metro by 30%.

As we have previously reported on The Property Tribune, many city dwellers are flocking to regional Australia, suggesting growth in local industries is not necessarily being fueled by domestic tourists – but by people making the move.

December home value data from CoreLogic, for example, showed regional dwelling values have increased by 6.9% compared to 2% for capital cities, caused by the increase in demand.

While the two sectors in metro Australia have recovered since the trough of the pandemic in April 2020, growth is yet to catch up to the levels seen in February 2020.

Transactions in January 2021 were 16% down which CBA say is heavily skewed by the lockdowns and pandemic-induced restrictions, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

Notably, while April 2020 saw a 52% decline in tourism and hospitality, regional Australia was far less affected by the pandemic and growth was recorded mid-year.

The second lockdowns had a greater impact on regional Victoria and regional NSW, where the growth figures went negative again before recovering over the Christmas and New Year Holidays.

Grant Cairns, CBA’s Executive General Manager for Regional and Agribusiness, said the figures were a testament to the local communities and he expects the trend to continue.

“These figures show the strength and resilience of regional Australia, particularly in the areas of hospitality, tourism and retail which have been hard hit during the pandemic.”

“While many companies in these sectors are understandably still doing it tough, particularly those more dependent on international tourism, it is heartening to see how regional businesses have managed to come through the crisis – many are bouncing back after the most testing twelve months the country has experienced.”

Grant Cairns, CBA GM for Regional and Agribusiness

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