Travel recovery exceeds expectations | TTG Asia
International travel is recovering rapidly beyond expectations, according to industry leaders at the 21st WTTC World Summit in Manila last month.
Marriott International Group Chairman Craig Smith enthused: “We have been blown away by how quickly we have recovered. We missed every forecast at every location when those doors opened. I’ve been through four or five tough times in my career – I’ve never seen such a quick recovery.
Average hotel rates are also accelerating.
“In the past, it took three years to recover those average rates,” Smith added.
Surprisingly, the luxury travel segment is leading the pack.
“Everyone is shocked by the pace of return of luxury travel when everyone expected it to be altered. Price growth in high-end luxury resorts is stronger than in all other segments of the world,” said IHG Group CEO Keith Barr.
Barr attributed the return of luxury tourism to the strength of consumers in general. After two years, the cost no longer mattered – they just wanted to travel.
HotelPlanner and meetings.com CEO Tim Hentschel noted a “huge rebound” in weddings as sports tourism was the first to recover in the United States and around the world.
“Younger generations have pushed back the interest in traveling internationally, not necessarily to every country. Millennials have the highest and most sustained levels of interest in travel, therefore, they are still driving travel around the world, regardless of their region,” explained Hentschel.
Rajah Travel Chairman and President Aileen Clemente said “leisure and luxury are the fastest growing travel segments”, although “the pace of recovery is not the same around the world”.
Clemente added that the recovery depends on factors including the location of destinations, visa and vaccination protocols, and the anticipated fear of being stuck in a country due to a lack of transparent procedures.