Skift Take

The Skift Travel Health Index continued to point to a full global travel recovery in May 2023. With 14 out of 22 countries having fully recovered and some overtaking pre-pandemic performance, we anticipate the index to soon significantly surpass 2019 levels.

The Skift Travel Health Index for May 2023 continues to indicate the full return of global travel. Despite a 1 percentage point drop over the prior month, the index stands at 100, as highlighted in our latest report, Skift Travel Health Index: May 2023 Highlights.

All regions except Europe are showing a full recovery, and at 98, it’s not too far off.

14 nations out of the 22 tracked have joined the “100 Club”. We expect all to soon achieve full recovery, except Russia and Hong Kong.

Read our latest report, Skift Travel Health Index: May 2023 Highlights to get global travel insights.

Remarkable Growth in the Middle East

As of the first quarter of 2023, the Middle East was the only region to surpass 2019 levels of inbound tourism. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks first on our index, overtaking 2019 travel performance by 18%. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) projects the UAE to meet its 2019 peak this year, contributing AED 180.6 billion to the UAE’s economy, getting almost close to the 2019 high of AED 183.4 billion. 

The U.S. Thrives on Memorial Day Demand

Despite the fear of the looming recession, the Memorial Day holiday helped push travel performance in the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint data trends show that travel volumes in the U.S. mirror 2019 levels.

More analysis can be found in our May 2023 Highlights report and on our Skift Travel Health Index data dashboard.


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Tags: memorial day, middle east, skift research, skift travel health index, uae, usa

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