Despite a massive decline in travel in 2020, new research from ITB Berlin NOW and Statista highlights that there are signs of there being a market recovery by 2023.

Statista’s mobility market outlook (MMO) indicates that global travel and tourism revenue for 2021 is forecast to increase by over 50% compared to 2020. New revenue records can be expected from 2023 onwards; for 2025, the MMO experts even predict revenue growth of almost 23% versus the “success year” 2019.

Statista projects a 55% loss of turnover in the tourism industry for 2020. According to UNWTO figures, between 1950 and 2019, annual international arrivals increased from 25 million to almost 1.5 billion, by a total of 5,744%. 

By contrast, in October 2020, year-on-year international tourism arrivals fell by 72%. 

Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV), says the German travel industry registered an 80% decline (€28bn) in turnover in 2020. 

According to a November 2020 survey by the Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag e.V (DIEK), 94% of companies in the German travel sector expected a turnover decline in 2020. 

Statista states that no other industry registered such high losses, and as a result the tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking back on travel in 2020, the tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the restrictions put in place by national governments due to the pandemic. Various statistics show that those months, in which strict measures were issued to contain its spread, were particularly challenging for the tourism sector. 

According to UNTWO figures, hotel bookings in Germany declined considerably during spring and autumn – in April German hotels registered a year-on-year drop in visitors of 91%.

During the first half of 2020 it became evident that summer travel in Germany would be different to previous years. According to ZDF-Politbarometer figures from a May 2020 survey of German citizens, the coronavirus pandemic affected the travel plans of more than 50% of those polled. This was also reflected in people’s destination preferences.

By contrast, the percentage of respondents preferring “staycations” more than doubled, rising from 30% to 61%. Accordingly, Google search requests for “vacation / Germany tripled in late May, compared to the same period the year before.

Domestic tourism was not impacted as severely by the pandemic as international tourism and is expected to recover as early as 2022

Projections by Statista based on WTTC, WorldData and OECD figures show that domestic tourism markets in Germany and other popular countries have not been impacted as severely by the coronavirus pandemic as international tourism. 

In 2019 domestic tourism accounted for close to €259bn, 85% of Germany’s domestic tourism revenues, whereas for 2020 the share is projected to be 91% (approximately €173bn).

Accordingly, turnover in Germany’s international tourism market is forecast to shrink by more than 60%, from approximately €45bn to around €16bn. At the same time domestic tourism is expected to recover as early as 2022, with turnover reaching 2019 levels.

Tour operator TUI recently declared that travel in summer 2021 would be “normal”. Due to constantly changing circumstances, including how vaccination progresses and lockdown periods, Statista said that experts’ forecasts must be treated with caution and regularly re-assessed in line with current developments. 

Statista also forecasts that technological innovations in particular will have a positive impact on the industry. These include AI-based, personalised services and innovative forms of presenting tourism services with virtual reality.

The current low volume of travel together with technological innovations could spur a rapid recovery of the industry, Statista said.

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