Mastercard demonstrates, with supporting figures, that the resumption of tourism is there, and in particular business travel. Based on the aggregation of transactions processed by Mastercard as well as IATA passenger data and public macroeconomic indicators, the Mastercard Economics Institute survey covers 37 markets worldwide. This “Travel 2022: Trends and Transitions” report shows that theBusiness flight bookings have started to exceed pre-pandemic numbers from last March to reach a peak of +18% on April 28. A first after long difficult months, and good news for airlines, especially since long-haul doubled in April. In its analysis, Mastercard also shows that this increase in business flight bookings is significantly greater in countries where the conditions for teleworking and Internet access are less good, than where “work from home” is the more developed.
As border entry restrictions fall one after another in a large number of countries, this improvement affects all travel sectors worldwide, in particular the bus lines which have returned to the same level of activity as before the crisis. Based on the evolution of the toll (+9%) and rental (+12%) budgets, the study also shows a clear improvement on the car side, in particular thanks to domestic customers, while expenditure for rail remain 7% below their 2019 level. Similarly, cruise lines have not yet regained all the lost ground, but, on the positive side, they saw spending gain 62 points between January and the end of April.
Bars, restaurants: increase in “pleasure” spending according to Mastercard
Another finding of this report, and which will not surprise after all these months spent between confinements and travel restrictions: travelers want to have fun. More than traditional souvenirs or new clothes to bring back from vacation, tourists – and no doubt, among them, business travelers on the sidelines of their professional appointments – favor experiences. Thus Mastercard sees 72% more spending in bars and nightclubs, followed by amusement parks, museums, concerts and other leisure activities (35%). As for restaurants, while they represented a share of 22% in the budget of a trip in 2019, this rose to 24% in April 2022.
This is particularly true in Singapore, where tourist spending has increased by 60%, and even more in the United Kingdom, with a growth of 140% for the month of April compared to 2019. But France is not not to be outdone, spending on experiences having increased by 61% compared to 2019, against + 18% for souvenir purchases. “The desire of consumers to return to normal and the desire to make up for lost time makes us optimistic about lasting resilience, despite the obstacles in front of uscommented Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard Chief Economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute. At a time when a major rebalancing is taking place all over the world, mobility is one of the aspects that we would most like to regain from our former life. »
While some Asian countries are still relatively closed to tourism, the most popular destinations in 2022 globally according to Mastercard are the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain and the Netherlands. In this context, France ranks ninth among destinations worldwide, and sixth in Europe, while being the second favorite destination for travelers from the EMEA region. ” Europe is at the heart of tourism activity and the trends are encouraging for France“, said Brice van de Walle, Managing Director Mastercard France. According to the payment solutions specialist, reservations for tourism and business trips have found their pre-pandemic level in the 1st quarter of 2022.
If the upward trend in bookings continues at the current pace, analysis from the Mastercard Economics Institute predicts 1.5 billion more air passengers in 2022 than in 2021 with, in particular, 550 million additional passengers traveling to the Europe region.