After a bit of optimism in June about demand for travel and tourism services for the remainder of the year, youth travel businesses adjusted their expectations slightly in July, saying they expected, on average, a 71% drop in demand for 2020 over 2019. This expectation remained steady in August. This article, based on the August edition of WYSE Travel Confederation’s COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey, takes a look at when youth travel businesses in different world regions are expecting economic recovery to begin. The development of a vaccine seems to be more important for businesses prospects in certain world regions.
The beginning of an economic recovery
Globally, the majority of respondents expect that a recovery for their business will begin within the first half of 2021, however, there is a sizeable group who do not expect things to improve until 2022 (12%) or until a vaccine is available (13%).
Europe and North America
For companies in Europe and North America, the proportion of businesses that consider their prospects for 2020 as ‘much worse’ increased over the last six months. The slight glimmer of optimism expressed by European businesses in June has faded and is tracking closely to the pessimistic expectations of North American travel businesses.
Most pessimistic in North America at the moment is Canada, with 91% of organisations assessing their 2020 prospects as ‘much worse’, followed by the USA (80%) and Mexico (38%).
European and North American youth travel organisations have their bets on economic recovery starting in the first or second quarter of 2021, but a sizeable percentage are looking further ahead to 2022. The availability of a vaccine is seen as the key to economic recovery for a fair number of North American businesses.
Asia and Oceania
Businesses in Asia seem to be linking their economic recovery with the availability of a vaccine, with 43% saying they do not expect economic recovery for their business to begin until there is a vaccine. Organisations in Oceania are looking to 2022 for economic recovery to begin (33%).
Africa and Central & South America
Similar to businesses in Europe and North America, organisations in the world regions of Africa and Central & South America are looking to the first half of 2021 for economic recovery of the travel and tourism business to start. At the moment, organisation in these regions seem less concerned about a vaccine being available in order for economic recovery of travel and tourism to begin.
In general, over the six months of the survey the business prospects that respondents have anticipated for 2020 relate very strongly to the change in demand they expect for the year. Those expecting things to get ‘much worse’ forecast a drop of more than 70% in demand for 2020, whereas those very few respondents expecting things to get ‘much better’ expected a slight increase in business for the year.
WYSE Travel Confederation and the COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey
If your business would benefit from unique business insights on the youth travel market, industry representation for common business interests and new trading opportunities with international partners, we invite you to discover the resources of the global trade association for businesses serving young travellers, WYSE Travel Confederation. Meet us at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) Online 7 – 9 October 2020.
Next survey in the series
WYSE Travel Confederation will repeat the COVD-19 Travel Business Impact Survey in September 2020. As with past travel business crises that we have monitored, it is important for the industry to come together and take its collective temperature. Given that youth aged 15 to 29 represent 23% of international arrivals, all travel businesses, regardless of their focus on youth-tailored travel products, are welcome to participate in the survey.
To read the past months’ survey outputs, click here.
Data for this report were collected between 3 and 10 August 2020 by WYSE Travel Confederation, the global association for youth, student and educational travel organisations, via web-based questionnaire in English. The August survey was the sixth in a series titled COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey.
The sixth iteration of the survey attracted 321 responses from 69 countries. Three-hundred and eight responses were retained for analysis. Respondents included organisations specialised in youth travel products as well as those representing mainstream travel products, members and non-members of the association. All respondents were asked about the impact that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had on their business in travel. Questions related to change in demand, outlook for 2020, main concerns and actions taken in response to COVID-19 have been repeated across surveys.
The profile of respondents to the sixth survey in August 2020 was similar to that of respondents of previous surveys. Youth travel specialists, defined as those organisations with over half their main business in the youth market, have consistently made up 60% or more of respondents over the life of the survey series.