No Recovery In International Flights Or Domestic Hotels For Years To Come

The tourism industry is bracing for a slower recovery as travel surveys portend gloom.

Travel Blues Here to Stay

The WSJ reports Travel’s COVID-19 Blues Are Likely Here to Stay—‘People Will Go Out of Business:’

"After declaring that 2020 was the worst year for tourism on record, with one billion fewer international arrivals, the United Nations World Tourism Organization says prospects for a 2021 rebound have worsened. In October, 79% of experts polled by the agency believed a 2021 rebound was possible. Only 50% said they believed that in January, and some 41% didn’t think travel would reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024 or beyond.

"As of Feb. 1, air tickets issued for international travel in the coming six months were 15.5% of what they were in 2019, down roughly 2 percentage points compared with Jan. 1, according to travel analytics company ForwardKeys. Scheduled flights this month are down nearly 50% globally compared with February 2019, with some markets down about 90%, according to data company Cirium.

"In the U.S., the demand for hotels isn’t forecast to return to 2019 levels until 2023, with room prices not fully recovering until 2025, according to a joint forecast from hotel-data company STR and Tourism Economics. Gross travel bookings in the U.S., including hotels, air tickets and car rentals, are expected to still be below 2019 levels in 2024, estimates travel-market research firm Phocuswright. It forecasts the recovery in Europe will be even slower."

Travel Surveys 

The last set of surveys was too optimistic. The vaccine was no panacea, yet.

Are the surveys now too gloomy? 

Creatures of Habit

I have been thinking about this topic a lot recently. Those surveys are gloomier than I expected, even though I would not have described myself as a bloomin' optimist to say the least.

But take my own personal experience as a possible example. We went to karaoke every Friday and Saturday night and often on Tuesdays, as well. 

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