Tourism recovery in Europe in the aftermath of Covid-19 is expected to be long and tedious with global tourism spending to take a minimum of six years to return to pre-pandemic levels, found a Euromonitor report presented at the recent WTM London tourism trade show.
Tourism recovery in Europe in the aftermath of Covid-19 is expected to be long and tedious with global tourism spending to take a minimum of six years to return to pre-pandemic levels, found a Euromonitor report released this week.
More specifically, according to the “Travel Rewired: Innovation Strategies for a Resilient Recovery” report presented by Caroline Bremner, global head of travel research at Euromonitor, travel spend is set to return to pre-Covid levels by 2024 at the earliest but she warned that recovery could take longer.
“In the worst case, we could be looking at a delay to 2026 in return to pre-crisis spending levels. If we have new variants that are more resilient to the vaccination program, that will further delay the situation,” said Bremner.
Besides spending, which fell globally by 75 percent last year, the report also forecasts a slow rebound for airline companies which are now expected to move towards net zero emissions. France and Germany are banning short haul flights and Europe is promoting less carbon intensive travel, the report said.
As the most mature tourism regional destination, the rate of recovery in Europe is expected to be slow and painful, said the report noting however that the continent was one of the first regions to recover from the pandemic, helped to a great extent by the Covid vaccine rollout and the digital Covid certificate, which facilitated the start of travel.
Bremner expects international travel and spending to exceed 2019 peak levels in 2024 “at the earliest”, with faster recovery in 2022 driven by vaccination drives.
The report goes on to add that besides the pent-up travel demand created by Covid, the tourism model must also change. Countries will be required to transition to quality over quantity and at the same time formulate strategies to address the imminent climate emergency.
Key to this will be the access and utilization of digital tools to drive innovation across operations, new product development and to harness consumer relationships.
At the same time, 39 percent of the industry said they are investing in implementing new technologies as a means to future-proof business while 53 percent of travel companies are focusing on sustainability features to guide initiatives and sustainable development goals.
Founded in 1972, Euromonitor International is a market research company based in London.