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U.S. Travel Will Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels In 2022

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A new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that travelers are ready to get out and explore the world again, with the U.S. leading the way in the recovery of the global travel and tourism industry.

New Report Shows US Travel May Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2022

The U.S. Is Leading The Way In Global Travel Recovery

After the global travel and tourism industry suffered a loss of almost $4.5 billion in 2020, a new report by the WTTC produced with Oxford Economics shows positive signs of a recovery for 2022.

The findings show that the United States travel sector is anticipating a 35.6% growth this year compared to 2020. And next year, the U.S. travel sector is expected to grow by another 28.4%, bringing it past pre-pandemic levels.

plane flying over New York

“Our research shows that while the global travel [and] tourism sector is slowly beginning to recover, the U.S. is recovering faster than many other regions,” said WTTC president and CEO Julia Simpson in a statement shared with Travel and Leisure, adding because of the “predicted rise in international and domestic spend this year and next, both jobs and GDP are on the rise.”

In total, travel is anticipated to generate nearly $2 trillion of the U.S. economy in 2022.

Passengers walking through Chicago O'Hare International Airport

The report also found that recent border openings will result in nearly 228% growth in international spending by U.S. travelers in 2022 compared to the previous year, increasing by $98 billion.

“The U.S. opening its borders and easing restrictions to major source markets such as the UK and the EU will provide a massive boost to economies on both sides of the Atlantic,” Simpson said.

“However, the long-term recovery of the sector in the U.S and around the world depends on the U.S. border remaining open to international visitors and making travel easier.”

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France Leading The Way In European Recovery

WTTC data showed that France’s travel and tourism sector has increased by 34.9 percent this year, ahead of other European countries by 23.9 percent and 30.7 percent compared to the international stage.

“Last year the pandemic saw hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in France. This year employment remains flat, but we expect to see a big uptick in Travel and Tourism in France next year as long as the country remains open to vaccinated travelers,” said Simpson.

Greece has also seen a strong recovery of its tourism industry since reopening in May and lifting most of its pandemic restrictions ahead of the summer tourist season.

On Sunday Greece’s tourism minister, Vassilis Kikilias, said that Greece has seen revenues from its key tourist industry in the eight months to August reach half of 2019 levels, which is in line with the government’s projection earlier in the year.

“From January up to August, arrivals were up by 79.2% and corresponding receipts (rose) by 135.7% compared to the same period in 2020, which corresponds to 50% of receipts for 2019 as a whole”

“We have not counted final takings yet,” Kikilias said, adding that September, October, and November were also busy months.

However, many European countries are currently dealing with a surge in Covid-19 cases that could hamper recovery as new restrictions are added.

Asian Countries Starting To Reopen

While most countries in Asia have remained closed to tourism or kept strict restrictions in place throughout the pandemic, many are starting to reopen and loosen quarantine requirements, such as Thailand, Cambodia, and India have all done recently.

boat in thailand

The WTTC said that these positive signs of recovery and growth could even surpass these predictions with help from governments worldwide, by creating measures like allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely, implementation of faster digital entry methods, and government recognition of all WHO-authorized vaccines.

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Wednesday 17th of November 2021

This report from the WTTC is trying to paint a rosy picture about the future of the tourist industry. Anyone familiar with statistical manipulation knows that when something goes down the drain, the next thing that appears are impressive percentages. Clearly, those countries that have completely destroyed their economies are the ones with the most impressive numbers. This however doesn't mean that there aren't long term consequences to the industry.