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Global travel recovery to be highly uneven in 2021-2023

Return to travel will depend on source markets as well as destinations

Bangkok, November 5, 2021


Given the dynamic environment driven by Covid-19 and border policies, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has produced an updated third-quarter 2021 forecast for international visitor arrivals into 39 Asia Pacific destinations.

The latest forecast at the overall regional level projects a nominal decrease in rate of recovery compared with the forecast provided in June. Given the complexity and uncertainty of the factors driving travel recovery, the forecast provides the range of three scenarios - mild, medium, and severe. These latest updates show a range of results, with predicted arrivals numbers for 2021 ranging from 154.8 million under the mild scenario to 65.5 million under the severe scenario.

“Travel recovery remains volatile and variable across destinations in all regions. These conditions are testing the agility of governments and businesses as well as any pent-up consumer interest to travel,” said Liz Ortiguera, PATA CEO.

“A return to travel will be impacted by complex factors in both the source markets and destinations. As each government weighs the difficult balance between opening up livelihoods and economies with public health risk management, we can expect a different tourism ecosystem to emerge from the pandemic,” she added.
The statistics broken down at a sub-regional level demonstrate significant variability across the various sub-regions demonstrating the unevenness of the recovery. Nevertheless, the Pacific will have the highest recovery rates in the mild and medium scenarios over the forecast period: mild (102.6%), medium (78.2%), while the Americas will see the highest recovery rate (54.8%) in the severe scenario.

“PATA continues to support its members in navigating through this challenging recovery. As market conditions open and traveller interests have evolved, now is the time to reinvent products, reinforce destination readiness, communicate health and safety preparedness, and expand interest in lesser-known destinations. Now is the time to define the future of travel more positively with responsible travel elements,” added Ortiguera.

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