Skip to main content

Read our updated 2023 report: Travel Industry Trends

The desire to travel is strong, and consumer and commercial demand for air travel, measured by flight bookings, accelerated meaningfully in early 2022. Could this be the start of travel’s long-awaited recovery?

After over two years of restrictions on where to travel, people are booking new and different itineraries. The Mastercard Economics Institute’s third-annual travel report reveals several significant travel recovery trends, including:

  • Today’s Traveler: For the first time since the pandemic, business flight bookings have exceeded 2019 levels, a key milestone in the recovery.1

  • Top destinations: Destinations are evolving as people have started booking travel farther from home. Long-haul leisure travel, shot up to just -7% below pre-pandemic levels by the end of April.2

  • Modes of travel: Throughout 2021, traveling by car was the preferred mode of transportation but now buses, cruises and trains are seeing an uptick in bookings.

  • Consumer spending while traveling: Travelers are returning to spending on experiences over things. Travel budgets have shifted toward restaurants, bars and recreational activities.

“If flight bookings continue at their current pace, an estimated 1.5 billion more passengers globally will fly in 2022 compared to last year.”3

Get access to Travel 2022: Trends & Transitions to learn more about the current state of travel around the globe and where it’s headed.

Learn more about the report insights by registering for our on-demand webinar hosted by the Mastercard Economics Institute.

1Corresponds with the number of flight bookings made by business travelers in April 2022 relative to the same time in 2019. Based on aggregated & anonymized flight booking data provided by third party partners, sourced by Mastercard Economics Institute.
2Corresponds with the number of flight bookings made by leisure travelers during reference period relative to the same time in 2019. Based on aggregated & anonymized flight booking data provided by third party partners, sourced by Mastercard Economics Institute. Long-haul flights correspond with international flights 4,300km+ in one-way distance.
Based on Mastercard Economics Institute estimates of global IATA passenger throughput data.

Access the global report

Related Reports

ready for takeoff teaser image
Recovery Insights
Ready for takeoff?

After flights were grounded and travelers stayed home in 2020, several emerging trends are pointing to the start of a recovery in 2021. Learn what’s happening around the world now and into the future.

economy 2022 in focus tile image
Outlook Report
Economy 2022

Economy 2022, a global outlook report developed by the Mastercard Economics Institute, focuses on 5 key trends and how they may evolve in the year ahead -- savings & spending, supply chains, digital, risk, and travel.

Travel Check In
Recovery Insights
Travel Check-In: A Global Perspective

Covid-19 has dramatically impacted the travel industry in 2020. Learn the story of where, how and why people are traveling from the air and from the ground, and the trends to watch as the industry tries to recover.

Digital first report tile
Thinking digital first: Sharing lessons learned for retail banks

One of the biggest drivers of digital-first solutions in banking is the change in how consumers interact with their banks. Learn the four areas of change for banks with a digital-first focus in this report.