Leisure and business tourism have become increasingly common all over the world. One of the primary beneficiaries of this increase in travel is the hotel industry. Key performance indicators such as RevPAR (revenue per available room), ADR (average daily rate) and occupancy have seen year-over-year growth over the past decade due to an influx of tourists across the globe. Meanwhile, another industry that is profiting from people’s penchant for travel is the airline industry. In 2018, passenger air travel comprised over 50 percent of international inbound tourism, which translated to a revenue of around 812 billion U.S. dollars for commercial airlines.
Once tourists arrive at their travel destination, they can choose from a plethora of sightseeing options and other attractions. One famous landmark that keeps seeing record attendance figures is the Louvre in Paris. The cultural site reported 10.2 million visitors in 2018, and while the French capital is known for its museums, it also drew a significant number of visitors to the gates of its most family-friendly attraction; Disneyland Park. Thanks to these and other sights, France remains a leading destination for international tourist arrivals.
In recent times, it has become increasingly common for travelers to book their own trips, however, there are still those who use travel agencies to do so. When booking a holiday or business trip, many travelers turn to one of the two leading travel companies, the Expedia Group and Booking Holdings. Aided by their well-frequented online booking platforms, the companies generated all-time high sales revenues of 99 billion and 92.7 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, in 2018.
One major trend that travel agencies and the tourism industry will have to adapt to in the future is the increased global interest in eco-friendly travel. Tourism is increasingly shown to be a significant contributor to climate change. As a result, a growing number of tourists have begun recognizing the negative impacts their trips can have on affected regions. This has led to more people advocating for green travel choices. One such option is staying in eco-friendly or green accommodations – a business model that has helped companies like Airbnb become more profitable than ever. The accommodation rental website, which allows hosts to rent out their private residences, reported over 164.3 million guest arrivals worldwide in 2018.
The other factor that will significantly impact the global tourism industry in 2020 and, presumably, years to come, is the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As countries are implementing severe travel restrictions to curb the spread of the disease, national and international tourism is coming to a drastic halt. It is estimated that global revenue for the travel and tourism industry will drop by 17 percent in 2020, with Asia forecast to see the gravest overall decrease in revenue, as well as the highest employment loss in the entire industry. While the long-term economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic cannot fully be assessed yet, the standstill of public life is already affecting not only tourism but also a long list of other industries such as the restaurant business, retail, and the event industry.