The travel industry has been one of the most drastically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a lack of people taking trips, companies all over the industry have struggled looking for ways to cut costs and stay afloat. Now, a new report claims their troubles will continue for quite some time.
According to a report put together for the U.S. Travel Associated by analyst group Tourism Economics, revenue for the travel industry is projected to fall by around $500 billion this year. Furthermore, it’s not expected that the industry will recover back to 2019 levels until at least 2024.
The analysis covers many different companies that provide travel-related services, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc. Last year, the industry took in a record-high $1.1 trillion in revenue. For this year, that total is expected to be somewhere in the $622 billion range.
Additionally, the analysis does indicate that there would be an increase in travel spending in 2021 of around 37.5% more than this year’s amount. Still, while that would increase earnings to $855 billion, it would leave the industry 24% smaller than it was in 2019. In 2022, it’s expected that this growth will slow down to just a 14.2% growth resulting in revenue totals of $976 billion.
As for 2023, the growth rate is expected to be at 7.4%, pushing earnings over the 1 trillion mark to $1.05 trillion, but still short of 2019’s $1.127 trillion. However, it’s close enough for Tourism Economics to reasonably assume that 2024’s travel spending will reach levels equivalent to 2019.
While part of the problem for the industry has been the lack of overall travel, there’s also the fact that those who are traveling aren’t’ spending like they used to. Economic worries have travelers spending nearly 15% less money than they normally would. In response to the new report, it’s expected that companies in the industry will once again lobby Congress for additional monetary support to help keep them afloat.