Tourism

Contrasting fortunes for tourism? What we know and what we don’t know as tourism grows

Our consumer research findings, discussed in recent blogs, have revealed contrasting states for tourism and hospitality. On the one hand, there is evidence of strong travel demand and improving sentiment as COVID concerns are subsidized. Meanwhile, on the other hand, geopolitical, economic and other global problems come to the fore, which can act as barriers to travel. The overall picture remains unclear as we enter the peak summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.

While global factors will continue to evolve that will shape the outlook for the travel industry in the coming weeks and months, there are lessons to be learned from existing traveler behaviors and opinions. Data from our latest consumer survey, conducted in May 2022, sheds light on aspects that could impact tourism in 2022 and beyond.

International travel is on the rise

The pandemic has led many consumers to avoid long-distance travel and, in general, any trip that required mixing with other modes of transport, such as aircraft or public transport. In addition, complex and ever-changing travel requirements and restrictions deter others from risky travel beyond their own borders. As a result, when travel restrictions were lifted, domestic tourism boomed in many parts of the world.

However, highlighting the growing confidence in travel, our survey results show an increase in the trend towards international travel along with a decrease in domestic travel. More than a quarter (28%) of those who have recently booked or traveled have chosen an international holiday, compared to 11% of respondents surveyed in July 2021. Meanwhile, the share of domestic leisure travel decreased from 57% in July 2021 to 44.% in May 2022.

Source: STR
Source: STR
Source: STRSource: STR
Source: STR
Source: STRSource: STR
Source: STR
Source: STRSource: STR
Source: STR

Destinations of all shapes and sizes are back on the wishlist

In a previous blog, we discussed how monitoring the city’s recreational attitudes can provide insight into the recovery of tourism. Prior to the pandemic, travel to urban destinations was the backbone of global tourism. However, these destinations were mostly avoided due to fears of infection during the pandemic.

Our latest results show, however, that city breaks are just as popular, if not slightly more so, than they were before the pandemic. The net interest rate, the difference between those who said they are more or less interested in one type of trip or another now compared to before the pandemic, was +2% for city trips in May 2022. This compares to a net interest rate of -3% in February. 2022, and prior to that, net interest rates were around -10%.

Source: STRSource: STR
Source: STR

While other types of travel currently continue to be more popular, the overall positive net percentage score marks a defining moment. Consumers no longer appear to be deterred or discouraged from visiting urban destinations, as they used to be during the pandemic.

The war in Ukraine (as well as other global factors) is holding back some travel

Economic and geopolitical issues were considered major travel hurdles in our last…

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