The current state of global tourism and factors shaping the industry in 2022 and beyond

The pandemic decimated the global travel industry virtually overnight. Travel restrictions due to the virus outbreak resulted in a staggering 98% drop in international tourist arrivals in May 2020 compared to the same month the previous year. And things only slightly improved since then— the first quarter of 2021 saw a drop of 83%.

Before the pandemic, the USD 8 trillion industry accounted for 10.4% of global GDP and 10.6% of total global employment, while tourist spending totalled USD 1.7 trillion. A nosedive in international travel resulted in a loss of approximately USD 1.3 trillion in export revenues—more than 11 times bigger loss than the one experienced in the last economic crisis in 2009.

As a result of such a profound shock, experts are not expecting things to return to the pre-pandemic level in the short term or even medium term.

With travel restrictions still present in most parts of the world, the question remains how will the future of travel look in 2022 and beyond?

Here are four key trends in terms of consumer behaviour, operating procedures, and service offerings shaping the global tourism industry.