With border restrictions and quarantines a key aspect of any government’s arsenal against COVID-19 spread international travel has continued to be weakened and as expected domestic travel is recovering before international. There are a number of success stories, but also just because a country has a strong domestic market does not mean it is guaranteed to see a similar scale of recovery. In the current challenging marketplace there are far too many variables.
UNWTO data shows that in 2018, around nine billion domestic tourism trips were made worldwide – six times the number of international tourist arrivals (1.4 billion in 2018). This is certainly cushioning the impacts of the COVID-19 fuelled crisis for a number of destinations helping them recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic, while at the same time safeguarding jobs, protecting livelihoods and allowing the social benefits tourism offers to also return.
In most destinations, domestic tourism generates higher revenues than international tourism. In OECD nations, domestic tourism accounts for 75% of total tourism expenditure, while in the European Union, domestic tourism expenditure is 1.8 times higher than inbound tourism expenditure, according to a UNWTO briefing note on the subject.
It highlights that globally the largest domestic tourism markets in terms of expenditure are the United States with nearly USD1 trillion, Germany with USD249 billion, Japan USD201 billion, the United Kingdom with USD154 billion and Mexico with USD139 billion.
They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. In this new regular section CTC – Corporate Travel Community offers a graphical insight into a key industry observation or trend. In this fourth edition we use OAG schedule data to look at the recovery of domestic air travel and how individual country markets have performed to date in 2020.