Mastercard Economics Institute: Pent-up demand drives global leisure and business flight bookings past 2019 levels
U.S., U.K, Switzerland, Spainand Netherlandstop the list of most visited destinations
- Cruises, buses and trains see strong spending rebound in 2022 as Covid restrictions loosen
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220517006263/en/
Importantly, according to the
- Leisure and business flights surpass pre-pandemic levels: Travel recovery has been a largely consumer story for much of the pandemic. By the end of April, global leisure flight bookings surpassed 2019 levels by 25%; short- and medium-haul leisure flight bookings were up 25% and 27%, respectively. Global business flight bookings exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time in March, with long-haul specifically growing double-digits in April. The return to office was an important driver.
- Hard-hit transportation industries see spending rebound: Recent spending levels point to greater comfort with group travel. Global spending on cruises gained 62 percentage points from January to the end of April, though remains below 2019 levels. Buses are back at pre-pandemic levels, while passenger rail spend remains 7% below. Meanwhile, car road trips maintain their appeal, with spending on tolls and auto rentals up nearly 19% and 12%, respectively.
Travel spending shifts back to experiences4 over things: For the better part of a year, international tourists spent more on experiences instead of souvenirs when in destination. Experiential spending is now 34% above 2019 levels; the areas seeing the largest spending increases are bars and nightclubs (72%) and amusement parks, museums, concerts and other recreational activities (35%). International tourist spending on experiences in destination grew 60% in
Singaporeand roughly 23% in the U.S.In the U.K., spending growth each month in 2022 more than doubled compared to 2019 levels, currently 140% for April.
Loosening of restrictions recalibrates tourism map for 2022: Not surprisingly, the ability and convenience of travel has been a driving factor in booking destinations, though 2022 has provided a clean slate with restrictions loosened in much of the world, aside from parts of
Asia-Pacific. The result is that the U.S., U.K, Switzerland, Spainand The Netherlandsare now the top destinations for tourists globally5.
“Like any flight, the travel recovery has faced both headwinds and tailwinds. As the ‘Great Rebalancing’ takes place around the world, this mobility is critical to a return to pre-pandemic life,” said Bricklin Dwyer,
Comprehensive Support to Travelers & Tourism Sector
Corresponds with the number of flight bookings made during reference period relative to the same time in 2019. Based on aggregated & anonymized flight booking data provided by third party partners, sourced by
2Google Community Mobility Reports, IATA passenger data, and macroeconomic indicators from various national statistics reporting agencies.
Based on aggregated & anonymized
4“Experiences” includes tourists spending at restaurants, amusement recreation activities, casinos, nightclubs, bars and other events, while “Things” includes convenience store chains, apparel, cosmetics, sporting goods, jewelry, footwear, bookstores, electronics, toys and department stores. Excludes transportation and lodging spend. Represents analysis of aggregated & anonymized aggregated & anonymized
5Analysis based on the number of inbound flight bookings into destination markets. Based on aggregated & anonymized flight booking data provided by third party partners sourced by
This presentation and content are intended solely as a research tool for informational purposes and not as investment advice or recommendations for any particular action or investment and should not be relied upon, in whole or in part, as the basis for decision-making or investment purposes. This presentation and content are not guaranteed as to accuracy and are provided on an "as is" basis to authorized users, who review and use this information at their own risk. This presentation and content, including estimated economic forecasts, simulations or scenarios from the
Founded in 2020, the