Hannah Free, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, says international travel from North America had shown improvement in 2021 as international departures grew by 15% year-on-year. The US rose to become the world’s largest outbound travel market in 2021. In 2022, outbound departures from North America are projected to reach 69% of 2019 levels, before making a full recovery by 2024, at 102% of 2019 levels, ahead of other regions.
‘International departures from European countries are expected to reach 69% of 2019 figures in 2022. As travel confidence rebuilds, the intra-European market is expected to benefit, driven by preferences for short-haul travel.
‘However, travel recovery must contend with inflation, rising costs of living, and the war in Ukraine,’ adds Free.
Asia-Pacific is expected to lag in terms of recovery. Outbound departures from the region will only reach 67% of 2019 levels in 2022, owing to the relatively slower removal of travel restrictions, and the propensity for renewed domestic restrictions during Covid-19 outbreaks.
China is not showing any signs of relaxing its strict border measures in the short-term. In 2021, international departures from China were just 2% of 2019 levels.