Skift Take

The latest data and insights from our partners show that the travel industry is continuing to return to "traditional" levels of demand, and traveler behavior is looking increasingly like it did before the pandemic.

Data is showing that the travel industry, as of April, has recovered to 77 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

April 2020 was the all-time low of the pandemic, with the Skift Travel Health Index recording a score of 20. April 2022 registered the highest score since, with the Index now standing at 77 points, against a 2019 baseline of 100.

And while there are concerns about the impact of high inflation and a possible recession on the travel industry, the general feeling in the industry is that the summer of 2022 will be a bumper season.

Skyscanner, in its recently launched Horizons report, backs this feeling up with survey data. The survey, undertaken in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Australia, found that 86 percent of respondents plan to spend more or the same on international travel this year than they did in 2019, with 40 percent planning to spend more.

High airfares are not stopping travelers, according to Hugh Aitken, vice president of flights at Skyscanner. “We continue to see latent demand coming back into the market — the desire to travel remains exceptionally strong despite higher airfares.”

Source: Skyscanner Horizons report, May 2022

Travel booking behaviors are also “normalizing,” according to Skyscanner data. According to Aitken, the industry is “seeing a stabilization of booking horizons, so growth in longer segments of over 60-89 days and 90-plus days and the decline in shorter segments, especially less than one week. There are some nuances depending on the region you are looking at, but broadly speaking this is reflective of the strong demand for travel.”

Source: Skyscanner Horizons report, May 2022

That’s not to say that there are no lingering weaknesses. Aitken points out that especially the continued reopening of Asia Pacific is important, “as both a regional growth area and an inbound long-haul travel destination for Western business and leisure travelers.”

April 2022 data from the Skift Travel Health Index shows that many Asian Pacific countries are continuing to perform strongly, with the exception of China and Hong Kong.

Japan, also, is still not back to 50 percent of pre-pandemic performance, but with recent announcements of border openings to more tourists, this will likely change in the coming months. 

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Tags: coronavirus, skift travel health index, skyscanner, tourism, travel recovery