Europe-Led Tourism Recovery Sets the Stage for WTM London 2022

Caribbean News…
09 July 2022 11:34pm
WTM London

Global air travel is set to reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels this summer, according to the summer Travel Outlook Report 2022 produced by World Travel Market London (WTM) and analytics firm ForwardKeys. 

The summer report reveals that the current enthusiasm to travel overseas is so strong that a rise in air fares has done relatively little to dampen demand. For example, the average fare from the US to Europe climbed by more than 35% between January and May with no noticeable slowing in booking rates.

The report also reveals that Europe has seen the biggest tourism recovery, recording an improvement of 16 percentage points, and is now reporting the highest overall tourist arrival volumes. The European region also illustrates the widespread trend of beach destinations recovering more quickly than their urban counterparts.

The continuing revival of leisure travel around the globe during the third quarter of this year (July, August and September) sets the stage for World Travel Market London – the foremost global event for the travel industry - taking place at ExCeL on 7-9 November 2022.

A second, end-of-year Travel Outlook Report will be published during World Travel Market London, giving delegates the latest trends and detailed forecasts based on bookings from airlines and travel agencies.

Africa and the Middle East are the regions on course to recover most strongly, with Q3 arrivals expected to reach 83% of 2019 levels. It is followed by the Americas, where summer arrivals are expected to reach 76%, Europe (71%) and Asia Pacific (35%).

The impressive rebound of summer destinations such as Antalya (Turkey; +81%), Mykonos and Rhodes (both Greece; both +29%) is partly attributable to early reopening and the proactive communication of their countries.  Greece was among the first European nations to reopen to non-essential travel and has been clear and consistent in its messaging throughout the pandemic.

It is interesting to note that the urban destinations with the best rates of recovery – Naples (Italy; +5%), Istanbul (Turkey; 0%), Athens (Greece; -5%) and Lisbon (Portugal; -8%) – are gateways to nearby sun and beach resorts.

The relatively promising outlook for summer travel to Africa and the Middle East is thanks to several factors. Many Middle Eastern airports are hubs for travel between Asia Pacific and Europe, so the Middle East is benefiting from the revival of intercontinental travel, particularly driven by people returning to Asian countries to visit friends and relatives.

The two countries leading Africa's summer travel recovery, Nigeria (+14%) and Ghana (+8%), are not on the traditional tourist map, but they do have significant diasporas in Europe and North America.

The strong performance of these nations can be attributed to pent-up demand from expatriates to visit friends and relatives back home.

However, travel to and within the Asia Pacific region is recovering more slowly, because of stricter Covid-19 travel restrictions remaining in force for longer.

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