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Travel recovery begins to take off

File photo dated 02/01/08 of a plane coming in to land at Gatwick Airport, as the airport celebrates its 80th anniversary of its first flight.

Almost 70% of global consumers plan to travel domestically within the next six months, yet less than 10% have booked their trips according to a new survey from consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

“The summer travel surge is just the beginning of a recovery that seemed almost impossible a little more than a year ago,” said Michael Wette, Head of IMEA Transportation & Services, Oliver Wyman. “We expect to see a continued desire for leisure travel through the end of the year and travel providers should anticipate a sustained leisure recovery with strong bookings continuing at least through the end of the year.”

“The travel industry continues to be a part of the diversification strategy for governments in the Middle East region and in the UAE in particular. There will be an even greater level of leisure and business travel due to major events and exhibitions like Dubai Expo 2020, the Dubai Airshow and ADIPEC being hosted.”

76% of respondents expect to travel the same or more post-COVID for leisure.

Traffic out of US airports will match and may even exceed the rate of pre-pandemic travel sometime in early 2022.

International leisure travel continues to be the most impacted by the pandemic, as most travelers opt to stay closer to home.  The Chinese (81%), United States (67%) and Australian (62%) travelers will prefer to travel domestically when restrictions are lifted. Whereas Canadians (54%) and most Europeans will favour international trips, mostly short hall.

Business travellers are optimistic about the return of corporate trips. Globally, about 75% of business travelers expect to travel the same as or more than they did pre-pandemic.

There will be a “catch up” in business travel and bookings will spike significantly in the near-term. However, changing company policies and the effectiveness of teleconferencing may reduce the long-term need for business travel.


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