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Skift: Recovery Stalls, But Appetite For Travel Remains

The latest edition of the  Skift Travel Health Index - for which Duetto is a hotel data partner - shows that the recovery of the travel industry stalled in most regions over the last few months, with the average global score now standing at 85 points. Across the 22 countries tracked, there was an average increase of just 1 percentage point from July to August meaning the performance of the travel industry currently tracks below 2019 levels by 15%.

Despite this, the Index does show that travel is taking on more predictable patterns in most regions except for Asia Pacific, where ongoing COVID-19 restrictions continue to impact negatively on travel performance. 

Asia Pacific Slows Down

Asia Pacific did not see any movement at all from July to August, with its Index score remaining at 75 for both months. This is the first time since 2022 began that the region did not post any growth.

If we look at the data country-by-country, we can see that Hong Kong saw the highest increase this month, with performance increasing from July to August by 33.9%. And interestingly, despite the sanctions still in place, Russia continues to see positive demand, mostly domestic.

China continues to suffer the effects of COVID-19 with a new lockdown in place in many regions. At the time of the report, almost 300 million Chinese residents were under a lockdown of some sort, inevitably impacting travel performance. Figures from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism on the Mid-Autumn Festival which took place in early September show that revenue from tourism was at 61% of 2019 levels, 28% lower than 2021. 

However, in contrast, Japan and Singapore have recently announced that vaccination rules are to be relaxed for travelers, which will no doubt have a positive impact on their travel performance in the coming weeks and months. 

Inflation And Hotel Prices Remain High

Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor has highlighted that inflation is persistently growing, with prices moving higher than initially expected. In addition, data from Skift’s partner OTA Insight reports that prices of hotel rooms are showing no signs of coming down any time soon. Hong Kong highlights this, with a 106% increase in hotel prices in August 2022 compared to 2019 prices.

Appetite For Travel Remains

Despite everything, it seems that many consumers still want to travel, and still intend to do so.  A study by Skift’s data partner Collinson found that 62% of those questioned said they ‘would rather cut back on non-essential retail purchases than reduce their travel budgets’. In addition, only 16% said they were cautious about traveling this year, compared to 35% of respondents in last year’s survey.

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Claire Middleton, Contributing Editor

Claire is a Contributing Editor with Duetto. An experienced editor and copywriter, with more than a decade of experience working for various publishing houses, private companies and agencies, she is now a full-time freelance writer, providing regular editorials on the hotel industry for Duetto.

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