4 charts showing what the tourism industry looks like 2 years after Covid

Despite the increase in omicron variation, the travel industry is showing signs of recovery.

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After a year of heavy losses, the travel industry is finally showing some signs of recovering – even if the arrival of Variant Covid-19 omicron has prompted some countries to tighten their borders again.

Increase vaccination rates, pent-up demand and accumulated savings helped boost global travel demand through 2021 as nationwide shutdowns eased and countries withdrew border restrictions.

Here are four charts that show what the travel industry will look like two years after the Covid pandemic.

Area Restoration

According to an analysis by Skift travel news and research firm, the tourism recovery remains uneven across regions.

Use the index of more than 50 different stats, the analysis measured recovery across different regions – compared to where the industry was in 2019 before the pandemic. Those metrics include travel searches, as well as hotel occupancy, revenue per night, and cancellations.

“What we found is that there is a very strong correlation between the number of new Covid cases and the recovery of tourism,” said Wouter Geerts, senior research analyst at Skift.

“As cases increase, borders tend to close, local lockdowns go into effect, and travel decreases dramatically and almost immediately,” he said.

North American countries like the US and Mexico are still “more open” and that helps their tourism industry, the analyst said. By contrast, a “zero Covid” strategy across Asia has held back travel until recently, Geerts said, referring to the approach by which countries imposed mass lockdowns, widespread testing and strictly limited even when only a few cases are detected.

In recent weeks, many countries including United States, Canada, Great Britain and Singapore moved to restrict travel from southern Africa after the World Health Organization labeled omicron – a strain of Covid-19 first detected in South Africa – a worrying variant.

Airlines lose money

IATA says global passenger revenue (RPK) is expected to grow this year, but only at about 40% of pre-Covid levels. RPK is an airline industry index that shows the number of kilometers traveled by paying passengers.

Fitch rating drop Its global RPK forecast for 2021 and 2022, citing the slower-than-expected recovery of international traffic and limited business travel. The agency warned that operating conditions of airlines will be more volatile with the appearance of omicrons.

“While it is too early to assess the impact of Omicron, the additional wave of infections and policy responses could lead to travel restrictions and delays or,” Fitch said in a November report. temporary decrease in traffic”.

But next year, North America could become the only region where airlines are profitable, IATA said.

Book hotel room

The Middle East recovered the most, with hotel bookings from January to October 2021 just 13% lower than in the same period in 2019, according to the data.

Mike Tansey, managing director of tourism growth markets at consulting firm Accenture, said high vaccination rates coinciding with peak European travel season was a major contributing factor to the recovery in the Middle East. Europe is a major source of visitors to the Middle East.

“Middle Eastern countries are leading the league in vaccination rates, leading to the region benefiting the fastest from an upswing in tourism,” he told CNBC.

Tourism Outlook for 2022

Researchers at the travel site surveyed more than 24,000 adults in August and asked about their travel plans and priorities in 2022.

Nuno Guerreiro, regional director for South Asia Pacific at, says a key difference in the survey results from last year’s survey is related to remote work.

Most travelers – about 59% – would choose shorter stays if it meant they could completely take time off work instead of working remotely while on holiday, he said.

Guerreiro said the tourism industry remains under “significant pressure” as countries grapple with ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks. But the bottom line is that “travel is still fundamental to people’s lives,” he told CNBC.

– CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report. 4 charts showing what the tourism industry looks like 2 years after Covid

Emma James

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