New Global Data Shows Travel Is Poised To Recover Faster Than Expected This week’s Economic Briefing features new data from the McKinsey Global Institute showing that travel is poised to recover more quickly than previously thought, with global GDP and employment levels recovering faster than most of the studies and forecasts from the past.

The world is growing. Every year, the number of people traveling globally doubles. It’s estimated that over 1.7 billion people traveled internationally in 2017. The majority of these travelers visited friends and family at home, but some 11 percent did so for business purposes, and a further 2 percent visited for leisure. The number of travelers who visited friends and family and did so for business purposes rose by 9 percent while that of leisure travelers rose by 6 percent in 2017. Travel has become a part of everyday life for many.

Ascenda, the technology company that owns TransferConnect, the world’s largest marketplace for redeeming miles and loyalty points, has found that people are redeeming their points for travel more frequently than before the pandemic, which could allow the industry to recover faster than expected.

During the pandemic, remittances dropped by more than 80% in the 60 days after March 2020, when the pandemic was officially declared, and global travel was severely restricted, if not completely banned.


Current trend

However, at the turn of the year, vaccination coverage, relaxation of restrictions and pent-up demand led to an increase in remittances. This increase is visible in the United States, where frequent flyer miles referrals have exceeded pre-pandemic levels since April 2021.

The number of bonus points in hotels has also increased. While hotel point transfers made up less than 10% of transfers in 2019, they have reached 30% of all transfers this year and continue to rise.

How does this new data affect what we know about the current state of the travel industry? This means that more and more people are willing and able to travel with loyalty programs, especially by air, and the number of hotel stays is increasing. There is also an increase in confidence in the mode of travel and type of accommodation.

The number of people who flew over Independence Day weekend was only 21% lower than in 2019, before the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean many people weren’t traveling; the pandemic has rekindled the nation’s desire to travel, and it’s easy to imagine more people choosing to drive long distances if they weren’t using public transportation like planes anyway.

As the pandemic spread, the eyes of the world were on the declining business statistics published by airlines and travel industry associations around the world, said Sebastian Grobis, Ascenda’s Chief Commercial Officer. Since then, many attempts have been made to analyze the slope of the recovery curve and make predictions for the future, for example. B. the study of future reservation arrangements. Today, we are pleased to present a unique new data source showing that frequent traveler remittances have increased significantly – a strong signal that the economic recovery is gaining momentum.

While this new data does not cover the entire spectrum of the travel industry, it does suggest that major travel companies, such as. B. Major airlines and hotel chains with customer loyalty programs will be the first to recover from the pandemic.

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