International Travel Lags Behind
After flights were largely grounded and travelers stayed home in 2020, the return to travel has become one of the most anticipated – and uncertain – activities of 2021. Today, Mastercard released Recovery Insights: Ready for Takeoff?
, a view into key travel trends in the air and on the ground, around the world. While the global travel recovery remains uneven, one-fifth of countries studied have returned to at least 90% of pre-pandemic levels for domestic flight bookings.
The report, developed by the Mastercard Economics Institute, draws on aggregated and anonymized sales activity across the global Mastercard network to better understand the next phase for travel, its drivers and challenges. This includes the balance between leisure and business, local and long-distance, and saving and spending. The report also looks at the spending categories seeing an uptick and what they signal for travel recovery.
“While there's been an impressive recovery in domestic air travel in a number of markets, the rebound won’t happen overnight. The pandemic brought the industry down to spending levels not seen in over 15 years,” said Bricklin Dwyer, Mastercard chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute. “While a lot of uncertainty remains, pent-up savings, a desire to venture farther from home, and the green light from governments could all provide significant tailwinds for the continued travel recovery.”
Key trends include: