By Stephen Renard
TORONTO — The global travel industry is projected to grow by almost 50 per cent, reaching approximately $650 billion in 2022. This year, the highest growth rate is forecasted for the cruise industry (200 per cent) and the hotel trade (60 per cent). In 2023, the global travel industry is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels by roughly five per cent, reaching almost $760 billion.
The hotel trade represents the largest tourism market segment. It is expected that the market for private accommodation and holiday apartments, such as Airbnb, will exceed $81 billion in total turnover, only two per cent short of the market volume in 2019.
Additionally, many historical events over the last 20 years have had a long-term impact on the hospitality industry, such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the dotcom bubble burst in 2000 and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine. In 2019, Russia and Ukraine accounted for three per cent of global tourism spending.
While it is unlikely that the war will severely impact the global hospitality industry, it could have a bigger impact on individual markets. In Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt, Russian tourists account for roughly 30 per cent of international visitors, and their absence could cost these countries up to five per cent of their GDP. Hotels in Turkey attracted nearly five million Russian tourists and two million Ukrainian tourists, totalling almost one third of the foreign visitors. As of April 15, 2022, the Turkish government has yet to impose sanctions on Russia, so it is unclear how the country’s tourism industry will be affected. Since the beginning of the war, Renard International, a leading recruitment agency in the hospitality industry, has received more resumes from executives in Ukraine and Russian than in the last 10 years combined.
The tourism industry is expected to bounce back this summer, but there aren’t enough staff to service travellers.