The Skift Travel Health Index, which covers travel’s performance since January 2020, up to and including May 2022, shows that the travel industry’s rebound continued to pick up pace last month, with the index breaking the 80% barrier for the first time.
The global travel index score now stands at 81%, which means that since January 2022 it increased by 20 points, rising to new highs every month since February 2022.
Latin America Leads Growth
Whilst growth was recorded in most regions, Latin America led the charge with a score of 102% compared to May 2019. Asia Pacific however occupied the lower end of the scale with a score of 65% of 2019 levels, although it should be noted that this is four percentage points higher than during April 2022.
The ‘100 Club’ Grows Rapidly
The index also shows that the list of countries with scores higher than 100% of 2019 travel levels - ‘The 100 Club’ - has grown quickly and as of May 2022, consisted of seven countries.
In addition, an impressive eleven countries reached a score of over 95% performance during the last month, highlighting just how many markets are now well on their way to returning to - or even surpassing - 2019 levels.
High Prices Affect Travel Plans
The latest index shows no signs that the high prices charged by hotels and airlines are about to come down any time soon. During May, published hotel rates were above 2019 levels for almost all countries, with Hong Kong and Thailand the only exceptions.
These high prices are not going unnoticed by travelers. A recent survey by Skift Research amongst 1,000 U.S. consumers found that 53% of consumers believe travel prices are now much higher than last year, and another 16% thought they were a little higher. Among those who noticed the price hikes, 72% said the rising travel prices are impacting their travel plans, while 23% said they were canceling or postponing their summer travel plans entirely.
Cities Are Returning
There are increasing signs that city destinations are finally starting to attract more interest once again after the pandemic pushed travelers to opt for destinations with more space and seclusion. Airbnb’s CEO noted that urban demand on the platform is now back above 2019 levels, albeit not as impressive as non-urban destinations yet.
Interestingly, however, search data from Sojern shows that while hotels have seen a strong uptick in performance, they are not seeing a strong increase in searches for many city destinations, including Bangkok, Barcelona, and London.
The Skift Travel Health Index is a real-time measure of the performance of the travel industry in 22 countries, focusing on all key travel sectors. The Index is compiled from data provided by industry leaders, including Amadeus, Duetto, OAG, and Skyscanner, amongst others. Subscribe here: research.skift.com/recovery