UNWTO World Tourism Barometer – November 2022
According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published in November 2022, during the first nine months of 2022, international tourist arrivals recovered to 63% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 700 million tourists travelled internationally over this period, with Europe welcoming 477 million of these arrivals, accounting for 68% of the total. It is predicted that international tourism is on track to reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
Traveller Insights for Q3 2022
Expedia have released their latest Traveller Insights report which covers Q3 2022 (July, Aug and Sept). It looks at traveller attitudes and behaviour at a global level, a summary of key points is below.
- Consumer interest in travel remains consistent with search volumes remaining steady quarter to quarter.
- Majority of travellers are still planning trips in the near term (i.e., within the next 3 months). However, there is evidence of some travellers starting to book further out (6 months+).
46% of consumers said travel is more important to them now compared to pre-pandemic (this research was conducted across 11 markets).
- Nearly 8 in 10 consumers will take at least one leisure trip in the next 12 months, and more than half (54%) will take at least 2 leisure trips.
- Consumers are looking for inspiration from and being influenced by, a variety of sources, both online and offline. While friends and family (52%) and travel providers (44%) are the most popular sources of travel inspiration, social media (35%) is close behind, and outpacing more traditional outlets such as travel agents (29%), media publications like newspapers/magazines (26%) and entertainment, like TV and movies (25%).
- Business travel is still on the increase with an over 10% year over year uplift (although still down on 2019). 32% of consumers plan to take a business trip in the next 12 months. Of those planning to take a business trip, 85% are looking forward to traveling for work.
- In terms of barriers to travel, consumers were most likely to cite inflation (51%) as affecting their travel plans in the next 12 months. There’s a shift in how people think about travel and the price they are paying as it relates to perceived value. Travellers will be more closely evaluating every aspect of their travel experience to make sure it’s worth their investment and aligns with their expectations. When ranking the most valuable features across a range of booking options, consumers place full refunds at the top. Around half of the consumers said they would never book non-refundable lodging (47%) or transportation (51%) domestically, in an effort to secure a lower price.
Tourism Outlook 2023
This report published by Economist Intelligence predicts that:
- Global tourism arrivals will rise by 30% in 2023, following 60% growth in 2022, but they will still not return to pre-pandemic levels. They predict that many regions will reach a full recovery in 2024.
- The economic downturn, sanctions on Russia and, above all, China’s zero-covid strategy will be among the factors weighing on the industry.
- Hotels, restaurants and airports will struggle to cope with labour shortages, wage demands, and high food and energy prices. The CEO of Heathrow has warned that airport disruptions will last until the end of 2023.
- Even so, international airlines are expected to return to profitability, benefiting from continued pent up demand. US-based airlines are the most likely to be profitable in 2023 (due to the strength of the USD), while airlines in other regions will struggle.
- The impact of climate change on the industry will become more apparent, with high temperatures, water shortages and floods forcing tourism destinations to take action.
UNWTO World Tourism Barometer – September 2022
According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer published in September 2022, during the first seven months of 2022, international tourist arrivals recovered to 57% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally over this period, with Europe welcoming 309 million of these arrivals, accounting for 65% of the total.
Expedia Q2 2022 Traveller Insights Report
Expedia have released their Q2 Traveller Insights Report, based on their search data and custom research. Some key highlights include:
- During Q2, more than 50% annual increase in traveller demand globally for long-haul flights.
Both London and Paris have spiked in popularity around the world.
- Inclusive/accessible travel is becoming increasingly important, and 7 in 10 consumers would choose a destination, accommodation or transportation option that is more inclusive of all types of travellers, even if it’s more expensive. There’s a gap in accessible and inclusive options in the travel marketplace, and there are opportunities for travel brands to improve offerings and make travel accessible to all travellers.
- 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when traveling, though 70% feel overwhelmed by starting the process of being a more sustainable traveller. As destinations and travel providers increase their focus on sustainability, there are growing opportunities to connect with travellers who are seeking information and guidance on how to make more responsible travel choices, as well as authentic brand commitments.
Expedia Inclusive Travel Report - Understanding Traveller Values & Opportunities for Marketers
Expedia conducted a survey of 11,000 people from 11 countries around the world (including the UK) to better understand the growing importance of inclusive travel. A growing number of travellers are seeking options that align with their values and provide an inclusive, welcoming experience. It is important for travel marketers to understand these evolving trends and expectations. A few key highlights include:
- 92% of consumers think it’s important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travellers.
- Overall, one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, live with a disability, and have nearly half a trillion dollars in disposable income and they spend $95 billion on travel alone each year.
- 7 in 10 consumers would choose a destination, lodging, or transportation option that is more inclusive to all types of travellers, even if it’s more expensive.
- 78% of survey respondents said they have made a travel choice based on promotions or ads they felt represented them through messaging or visuals. For millennials that figure is even higher – 84% have made a travel choice based on representation in travel advertising.
- 64% of consumers are interested in learning more about travel options that support local cultures and communities.
European Travel Commission Sentiment Tracker
The latest ETC Sentiment Tracker to the 3rd week of March 2022 has showed increasing travel optimism amongst European consumers despite the conflict in Ukraine, although there has been a slight increase in concern over the economic situation and personal finances. While many have decided to travel over the coming season, only 25% have booked their next trip. Sun & Beach holidays are European’s top choice for the upcoming summer, followed by City Breaks and Coast & Sea trips. Flexible cancellation policies and fully-lifted travel restrictions are the leading confidence boosters.
ABTA - Travel in 2022
ABTA has identified five key trends that are shaping people’s travel plans for 2022, based on expert insight and research, as well as booking data from their Members.
- Catching up on missed holidays
- More reliance upon travel agents and experts
- A trend toward domestic cruise ‘seacations’
- Added protection and peace of mind from a package holiday
- Travel for reconnection with family and friends
UK International Passenger Survey Results for Jan-August 2022
UK International Passenger Survey Results for Jan-August 2022. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) who are responsible for the International Passenger Survey (IPS) released their latest monthly summary on the 5th December. In the 8 months to August 2022, overseas visits to the UK had recovered to 69% of 2019 levels and spend has recovered to 87%. Average spend per visit is therefore much higher than pre-COVID, due mostly to a combination of longer average length of stay as well as an increase in spend per night broadly in line with inflation amongst some journey purposes.
UK International Passenger Survey Results for Jan-May 2022
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) who are responsible for the International Passenger Survey (IPS) released their latest monthly summary on the 20th September. This means they have now published the data for Jan-May 2022, for this time period overseas visits to the UK had recovered to 60% of 2019 levels. As they haven’t been able to interview travellers at Eurotunnel during the first 5 months of 2022, they have updated their 2019 data to exclude Eurotunnel visits to allow for a better understanding of how 2022 inbound tourism is performing compared to previous years.
VisitEngland Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions for 2021
On 6 September 2022 VisitEngland published its Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions in England for 2021. It was a self-completion survey of which 1,142 English attractions contributed to the survey.
Some key insights include:
- In 2021, attractions began to reopen and build back from the pandemic, visits to visitor attractions in England increased by 30% overall compared to 2020 (down 55% on 2019).
- The increase was driven by domestic visitors (+26%). Inbound travel to the UK reduced further in 2021 (according to the International Passenger Survey) and this had a direct impact on the volume of overseas visitors to English attractions with a 39% decrease reported.
- Impacted by the lower levels of visitors, adult admission fees increased significantly in 2021 (+11%).
- The pace of recovery varied substantially across visitor attraction categories. Museums/Art Galleries have struggled the most to build back, with an increase of 18% in visits in 2021. This is compared to Steam/Heritage Railways who saw the largest percentage increase out of all visitor categories with an increase of 118%.
- Urban attractions overall saw the smallest percentage increase in visits in 2021 (up 23%) partly due to lockdown restrictions delaying their reopening but also people being more reluctant to visit indoor attractions. The increase was on an average fall in visitors of 74% in 2020 compared to 2019. Attractions in coastal areas fared better with visits up 47% in 2021, following a drop of 59% in 2020 versus 2019.
- London attractions, with their greater reliance on international visitors, saw the lowest percentage increase in visitor numbers to attractions in 2021, up just 12%, with lower confidence in using public transport a factor. It follows the 77% drop in visits to London attractions in 2020, when compared to 2019.
VisitBritain Consumer Sentiment Tracker
The latest UK Sentiment Tracker to 07 March 2022 has showed consumer confidence in taking domestic as well as overseas trips over the spring period and over the next 12 months has increased since previous waves of the survey. The primary deterrents to UK travel are now personal finances, the weather and the rising costs of holidays. The deterrents are similar for overseas trips, but there is still some concern about the potential quarantine risk. Rising costs of travel are now more of a predominating concern than the fear of Covid and associated travel risks and restrictions.
VisitBritain Passport Research
VisitBritain have published research (undertaken between February 2022 – April 2022) which includes analysis of levels of passport and ID card ownership amongst Europeans, to gauge their understanding of conditions for travel to Britain and their perceptions. Some key insights include:
- Almost 7 in 10 (69%) of European international travellers own a passport although this varies significantly between countries – in France this figure is only 59%.
- While about 7 in 10 Europeans correctly understand that they need a passport to travel to the UK, more than a third (36%) still believe that a national ID card is valid for entry, which is no longer the case. This number rises to 45% in France and 40% in Germany. There may be a need to provide more information to these markets.
- The majority of Europeans surveyed who do not currently hold a passport state they would get one to enter Britain. However, 15% said that they would stop travelling to Britain as ID cards are longer accepted. This rises to nearly one in five (19%) in both France and Germany.