Global leisure and business bookings exceed 2019 levels

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A recent report from the Mastercard Institute of Economics found that bookings for business and leisure travel have exceeded their pre-pandemic level, while spending on cruise lines, buses and trains has seen sharp increases this year. The new report, entitled Travel in 2022: Trends and Transformations, presents important studies on global travel conditions in 37 markets in the post-vaccination phase and those that followed easing restrictions during the pandemic period.

According to the report, if flight booking trends continue at their current pace, an additional 115 million passengers from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa will travel in 2022, compared to last year. After in-depth studies conducted within the Mastercard network of publicly available travel data, aggregate and anonymous sales activity3, the report went further in analyzing the key elements of passenger travel and came up with the following important findings by April 2022:

• Business and leisure travel exceeded pre-pandemic levels: global travel recovery was of major importance to the consumer during most of the pandemic phases and the percentage of global leisure travel bookings exceeded 25% at the end of April , compared to the same period of 2019, and short-term and medium-term travel bookings increased by 25% and 27%, respectively, while global business travel bookings jumped, for the first time in March, to levels that exceeded what were before the pandemic, and The number of long-haul flights marked an increase of more than 10% in April.

The return to jobs came to give the travel movement an extra boost, as the Middle East witnessed an acceleration of the recovery in international travel bookings from mid-2021, following the launch of Covid 19 virus vaccination campaigns. “and relief. of travel restrictions in the western hemisphere, and this recovery increased.While national airlines in the Middle East are increasing their scheduled flights to more destinations. However, business trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa grew at a much slower pace, with short-term bookings boosting recovery. However, they did not exceed the 2019 levels, with the exception of March 2022, while medium and domestic bookings remained below the 2019 levels. This is 16% and 40%, respectively, starting in April 2022.

• Domestic travel options continue to be a priority for consumers in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa: With the advent of the pandemic, consumers in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa preferred to turn to domestic travel, and although the Recovery was coincidentally, domestic reserves increased and their levels eventually became in November 2020 double what was before the pandemic and collapsed in January 2021 and rose again more than 20% in February 2021, compared to levels before “Covid 19 “and landed again in mid-2021, before a more sustained and sustained recovery began, surpassing pre-pandemic levels since February 2022.

• Reversal of spending in transport industries hit hard: Recent spending indicators show increasing easing with the advent of group travel, as global cruise spending increased by 62 percentage points from January to the end of April, although still below 2019 levels. Bus traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, while rail passenger costs remained less than 7%, and road travel by car remained attractive, transit fare and car rental costs increased by almost 19% and 12%. Consumer spending in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa on rail travel has surpassed the rest of the world since January 2021 and the region has seen steadily much higher growth in the same period of 2019 and the rental sector car has marked a gradual Recovery of spending on tourism, exceeding the levels of 2019, seemed to be more stable since January 2022.

• Focus travel expenses on experiences more than things: most tourist spending around the world, in the best part of the tourist year, focuses on their experiences, rather than buying souvenirs from places where they land and spend in. these experiences currently exceed 34% compared to 2019, areas that saw significant increases in spending include food and beverage outlets (72%) and theme parks, museums, concerts and other recreational activities (35%). In the UK, spending growth doubled on a monthly basis in 2022, compared to 2019 levels, and reached 140 per cent in April, and the global trend towards a experiential economy included Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. despite half its delay. a year from the rest of the world. In South Africa, for example, although spending on goods and experience there took a similar advantage, growth in spending on experience continued to advance compared to 2019 levels, recording 20 percentage points higher than spending on goods that by January 2022.

• The reduction of restrictions has redrawn the tourism map for 2022: It is not surprising that the ability to travel and the amenities during it constitute an influential factor in the issue of booking destinations, despite the decisions taken in 2022, which contributed to the relief of movement restrictions. in most parts of the world, with the exception of a few parts are from Asia Pacific. The result was that the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands have now become major destinations for global tourists, with travelers from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa preferring the United Kingdom to be their first destination during the period. of continued recovery more than the United States and this trend encouraged the launch of “Freedom Day”. Britain to lift restrictions in July 2021. The European continent has become home to most of the top ten favorite destinations for travelers from Eastern Europe. Middle East and Africa.

“Like any airline, travel recovery has faced opposing and rear winds, and with the ‘Great Rebalance’ now happening around the world, this mobility is extremely important to bring it back to life.” said Bricklin Dwyer, chief economist at Mastercard and president. of the Mastercard Institute of Economics. In the face of the pandemic, and perhaps the consumer’s resilience and determination to get back to normal and make up for lost time is what gives us optimism that the recovery is moving forward, despite all the obstacles that may arise along the way. . ”


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