Optimism for 2022 travel recovery

Four out of ten senior travel professionals think 2022 booking volumes across the industry will match or exceed 2019’s levels, according to research released by World Travel Market (WTM) London.

700 senior professionals from around the globe contributed to the WTM Industry Report and revealed an upbeat outlook for 2022, both in terms of their own business, and the wider industry.

26% are confident that industry bookings for 2022 will be comparable with 2019, with 14% expecting 2022 to outperform 2019.

However, not everyone is expecting a recovery in 2022. 48% think the industry will fall short of 2019, with 11% unsure. And for some individual businesses, 2022 will be a struggle.

According to the survey, travel companies are looking to explore how to use technology to engage more effectively with customers online.

Automation is an area where airlines, in particular, need to invest, according to global management consultants, McKinsey & Company. It noted that carriers should look at consumer-facing automation, such as self-serve kiosks at airports as well as back-office automation of tasks such as revenue accounting and invoicing.

Industry professionals identified helping to increase revenues as technology’s main job over the next twelve months. Technology has always had a significant role to play in customer acquisition and retention, and this functionality will be in demand over the next twelve months.

Interestingly, the report highlights that the industry is more interested in using technology to find new clients and/or new source markets than it is in retaining and engaging with existing customers.

While the report does not discuss medical travel, many medical tourism trends tend to closely follow those in mainstream tourism.