Travel TrendsThe good news is that even with the economic downturn, consumers are still prioritising travel.

How will the travel industry fare in a global recession?

Travel advisors say they are witnessing a reluctance to give up vacation plans no matter what the economy brings.
Travel advisors say they are witnessing a reluctance to give up vacation plans no matter what the economy brings. Photo Credit: Adobe/stryjek

With interest rates in the US continuing to climb and the impact of inflation hitting wallets far and wide, there’s been a great deal of chatter about the potential for a global recession.

Some of the world’s leading economic organisations have said the economy is weakening. The Conference Board, a global non-profit think tank, recently projected that the US and Europe in particular may experience a recession in the near term, while China may see “significantly weaker growth in 2023.”

The question then is how a downturn might impact the travel industry – which has been busy roaring back to life. What would the ramifications be for the hotel industry, airlines, tour operators, and destinations? Not to mention travellers themselves and their plans.

The answer to these questions varies depending on who you speak with. But the good news overall is that the industry appears well-poised thus far to navigate what may be some uncertain months ahead – and travellers remain eager to continue globetrotting come what may.

Economy aside, travel remains a priority

After years of not being able to explore the world and being isolated at home for much of that time, consumers far and wide are not willing to relinquish the ability to travel at the moment, even amid economic uncertainty.

“More than half of Americans report that travel is now a priority and see their holiday as a sacred, worthwhile investment,” James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, told TravelPulse. “Having a period without travel has made people appreciate their holidays even more.”

The most recent American Travel Sentiment Study underscores Thornton’s point. According to November 2022 data from the study, 92% of Americans have travel plans in the next six months, which is a tie for the highest level of travel seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

Travel advisors across the country say they too are witnessing a reluctance to give up vacation plans no matter what the economy brings.

“I do believe that Covid taught so many that life is precious and it's important to spend time with loved ones and how much travel is valued when the freedom to travel is taken away,” said Jennifer Doncsecz, president of Pennsylvania-based VIP Vacations Inc. and a certified travel industry executive. “This may mean that consumers take a shorter vacation or look for other ways to save on a vacation, but I do think people want to travel and will travel despite a recession.”

Source: TravelPulse

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