Global: As it recovers from the pandemic, will rising costs hurt the travel industry?
June 27th, 2022, Janice Fernandes

Global: As it recovers from the pandemic, will rising costs hurt the travel industry?

Travel has only recently started to find its way back to pre-pandemic levels. But with the cost of living on the upswing, will the travel sector suffer another setback? In a recent survey, YouGov asks consumers across 18 markets in which areas would they first make cutbacks if their household budget is squeezed due to increase in cost of living.

Travel is second on the list of things consumers would cut back on to reduce household expenses (49%). Eating out, at 60%, tops the list.

Italy registers nearly three in five consumers (59%) who say they will cut back on travel if they feel the pinch, making it the market where the highest proportion of consumers have this cost-base in their sights.

Most of the other markets in the European region also register half of their consumers who would choose to cut down on their travel. However, Sweden and Denmark are the least likely markets to say they will cut back on their holiday plans (44% and 43%, respectively).

Data from the United States indicates Americans are among the least likely to cut back on their holidays (44%) – but that’s still a significant proportion. In comparison, slightly less than half (48%) of urban Mexicans would do the same. Canada (56%) registers the second-highest number of consumers who are likely to cut back on travel if they must limit their monthly expenses. It’s the only North American market to outpace the global audience.

Most markets in the APAC region registered 50% of consumers who will consider cutting down on travel if their household budgets are squeezed. China (47%) and India (46%) are the only markets in this region where less than half of consumers pick ‘travel’ as the area where they will cut costs.

Overall, Britons are as likely as global respondents to say they will first make cutbacks on travel expenses (49%). However, a closer look reveals that 18-24-year-olds (38%) are far less likely than 55+-year-olds (53%) to pick travel. A similar pattern is seen in the US, suggesting that travel is an essential factor in the lives of the younger generations, albeit that their wallet size is smaller. Only around two in ten 18-24-year-old Americans (23%) are willing to reduce the amount spent on holidays compared to 54% of those aged 55+.

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 508 and 2,065 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in May 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.