Australia / Coronavirus Insights
Light At The End Of The Tunnel: Industries To Come Back First

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by IBISWorld
May 04 2020

Australia has had remarkable success in flattening the COVID-19 cases curve. Across Australia, the number of new cases each day has been lower than 25 for two weeks. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to remain low, the Australian Government has since turned its focus on safely reopening businesses and other public activities, with some industries expected to gradually return to normal operations starting on Friday 8 May 2020.

Several industries are anticipated to begin resuming business operations within the next two months:

Domestic Airlines

The Domestic Airlines industry is expected to begin to ramp up flight numbers as travel restrictions in Australia are eased. As states and territories eliminate the virus, interstate travel and tourism are expected to gradually recover. The International Airlines industry is expected to remain restricted for the foreseeable future, due to the threat of reintroducing COVID-19 into Australia. However, flights to New Zealand may be allowed to recommence if both countries can demonstrate that COVID-19 has been successfully eliminated. The Domestic Airlines industry is expected to decline by 15.3% in 2019-20, to $11.6 billion. A recovery in 2020-21 is anticipated to support a 3.1% growth in industry revenue.

Hospitality industries

The Restaurants industry, Pubs, Bars and Nightclubs industry, and the Cafes and Coffee Shops industry are expected to gradually reopen in May 2020. However, social distancing restrictions are expected to remain in place, such as minimum table distancing and a cap on the number of customers allowed inside an establishment at one time. A reopening of these facilities is expected to let consumers know that public areas are now safe to return to, encouraging a recovery of demand. Revenue in the Restaurants industry is expected to decline by 25.1% in 2019-20, to $15.0 billion.


Large-scale sporting events are expected to resume by July 2020, supporting the Sports industry. While the AFL, NRL and other major sporting events will resume, these events are expected to be held in empty stadiums. As large-scale gatherings could enable a rapid resurgence in COVID-19 cases, significant gatherings for sporting events, music performances, or religious worship are unlikely to resume for the foreseeable future. Despite this restriction, the resumption of sporting events is expected to provide a boost for some industries, such as the Horse and Sports Betting industry. Revenue for the Sports sector is expected to fall in the current year due to sporting events being cancelled or postponed across the world. The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to have a significant negative effect on sports administrators, sporting clubs and sports betting.

Real Estate Services

Housing plays a critical role in the economy, with fluctuations in property prices having a significant impact on the total wealth of many Australian households. Property prices are expected to decline in some regions, as property owners fall into negative equity or are forced to sell. In March 2020, banks began providing relief on mortgage repayments for those affected, which may help support falling property prices. Many residential property landlords have also had to reduce their rent, as tenants have experienced financial difficulty amid rising unemployment. Restrictions on the Real Estate Services industry, such as a ban on home inspections, are anticipated to be rolled back. The Real Estate Services industry is expected to decline by 1.7% in 2019-20, to $26.3 billion.

IBISWorld reports used to develop this release:

For more information, to obtain industry reports or to arrange an interview with an analyst, please contact:
Jason Aravanis
Strategic Media Advisor – IBISWorld Pty Ltd
Tel: 03 9906 3647