Travel and Tourism

Report shows early bright spots in domestic travel recovery

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Report shows early bright spots in domestic travel recovery
This undated image shows travelers walking in an airport.

MANILA, Philippines — While there may be an impending implementation of enhanced community quarantine for the third time in the National Capital Region this August, travel across the globe has seen relatively more good news.

Road trips and visits and purchases in bike stores have seen an uptick as reflected in a report by Mastercard Economics Institute.

The Recovery Insights: Ready for Takeoff? presents travel trends around the world. The report revealed that 1/5 of the countries in the study have returned to at least 90% of pre-pandemic levels for domestic flight bookings.

These findings are based on aggregated and "anonymized" sales activity across the global Mastercard network with additional input from third-party data sets and proprietary analysis by the Mastercard Economics Institute. Factors considered include balance between leisure and business, local and long-distance, and saving and spending. It also looked into the uptick in spending categories and what these mean for travel recovery. 

Here are some of the report's key findings:

1. Business travel lags behind leisure travel by approximately four months globally.

People are travelling more for business purposes. In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines are seeing more business travel-related bookings.

2. Globally fuel spending is up 13% from its previous peak in 2019.

It looks like months of being locked away did just the trick for a lot of people. If they can't fly, then they can drive to the beach or outside NCR.

Road trips contributed to the study's finding that domestic ground travel with increased fuel spending were seen in the Philippines and its neighboring countries Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

3. With border closures still in place, pent-up savings are helping to drive sales across a variety of categories.

What can one do with extra money that could use some spending when there are lockdowns? The report found interesting spending in the region with sales for beauty salons and luggage stores seeing upticks.

Still, those who are raring to satisfy their wanderlusts contributed to sales at boat dealers (+30%) and bike stores (+62%) across the world.

Sales of bikes and accessories do not surprise as these easy-to-use mobile modes of transportation have seen a rise in popularity even in Metro Manila's busiest streets during the pandemic.

“Although many markets in Asia Pacific are yet to see international borders open, there are some early bright spots in domestic travel recovery,” said David Mann, chief economist, AP & MEA of the Mastercard Economics Institute. "As travel corridors continue to open and flourish across the United States and Europe, Mastercard believes the pent-up demand in Asia Pacific, exacerbated by extended lockdowns, will follow a similar trajectory in both business and leisure travel, as the region cautiously re-opens its borders.”

Mastercard launched Recovery Insights to help businesses and governments better manage the economic risks presented by COVID-19. Through this initiative, Mastercard has provided data-driven insights, analytics and other services to businesses and governments to help them understand ever-changing consumer spending trends and how to address them.

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