The early 2020s shall be remembered as The Volatile Years with the onslaught of Covid-19, the war in Ukraine and the global energy and inflation crisis that followed the start of the conflict in Eastern Europe. Now that we have reached 2023, can we expect the year to play out any differently than the previous two? Are we nearer to the light at the end of the tunnel now that masks are no longer compulsory in public transport and travellers do not need to worry so much about travel requirements?
In the latest trends analysis by the team of experts at ForwardKeys, we speak with our analysts based in Europe and China to pick their brains on things to watch out for this year.
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Travel recovery in 2022, while generally encouraging, was affected by challenges including escalating geopolitical tensions, a global energy crisis and soaring inflation in most of the world’s major economies.
These issues, and the uncertainty they breed in the travel market, look set to continue into 2023, however, ForwardKeys’ latest data points to a brighter future, helped by the comeback of China, a continued strong pent-up demand, and the resilience of the high-end market.
Here are six of the key trends and opportunities to look out for in 2023.
Limited capacity and travel disruptions hinder recovery over the economic factors
Even with booking levels returning to near 2019 levels, multiple factors are set to hinder recovery. In addition to economic and geo-political tensions, ongoing staffing shortages and limited air capacity will challenge the industry’s ability to keep pace with demand.
In the post-COVID-19 context, non-stop connections and ‘simple’ flight itineraries have become decisive factors for travellers concerned about the inconveniences of varying travel requirements and the likelihood of flight disruptions. Despite travel restrictions now being lifted in most destinations around the world, we will see this trend continuing in 2023.
Air capacity will also remain a crucial aspect of recovery, as it will be the ability of the sector to recruit sufficient staff to accommodate the pent-up demand. So far, the struggles of the industry to get back to pre-pandemic staffing levels, together with economic and geopolitical tensions could translate into scenes of chaos at airports such as those seen in 2022 and even higher fares.