Outbound Travel 2024: Asia’s Big Year, Europe’s Slowdown

Skift Take

Will Asia be the new Europe in 2024? As the world gears up for another year of post-pandemic travel, the industry will see Asia take the center stage, driving growth in 2024 while Europe stabilizes at modest growth levels.

This year, the travel industry is moving past the COVID era, navigating the “new normal,” strengthening, and settling into a stable growth trajectory. Skift Research’s recently published Global Travel Outlook 2024 provides a closer look into global travel performance and the key regions fueling growth.

For 2024, we forecast that Europe will normalize to stable growth levels while the Asia-Pacific region positions itself as the primary growth driver. Download our free report diving into the reasons for this forecast.

Asia is the New Europe

The global travel industry faces shifting dynamics in 2024. Travel revenue projections for the top 200 tourism companies show a slowdown in Europe, the most popular tourist hotspot in the world, while Asia Pacific will be the center of travel growth. Our insights shared in Travel Outlook 2024 are in line with this forecast.

Travel Performance is a Testament to the Regional Swap

The Skift Travel Health Index, which monitors travel indicators across 22 countries, benchmarking monthly performance to 2019, reveals that Europe has recovered. Still, growth remains sluggish due to multiple economic and geopolitical reasons.

Asia Pacific, a laggard since 2021, made rapid progress as soon as travel from China resumed. China has yet to entirely recover, but the surge in Asia pushed the global travel average to surpass 2019 performance levels.

Asia still has significant room for recovery and growth, while Europe’s travel patterns are moving towards normalization.

STHI by Region

In conclusion, the travel industry’s trajectory for 2024 reflects a tale of two regions. Asia Pacific is poised to be a driving force, fueled by China’s resurgence, pent-up demand to visit Asian countries, and robust domestic travel. In contrast, Europe is now stabilizing and also faces challenges tied to geopolitical uncertainties, inflation, and climate-related concerns, contributing to a more modest growth forecast.

Read the full report sharing further insights for free and our Skift Research Global Travel Outlook 2024 for further regional and sector-specific analysis on trends in the travel industry in 2024.

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