Although tourist trips have not yet reached pre-Covid volume, travelers are already confident are leaving abroad. According to the latest report of the World Tourism Organization at the UN, two countries have stood out where tourists go shopping en masse in 2022. These are Turkey and Greece.
According to the organization, tourism around the world is showing a strong recovery. Thus, in the first quarter of 2022, there were 3 times more trips to tourist destinations than in the same period last year. It was stated that Europe set the pace in the recovery of the sector. Between January and March this year, international tourism increased by 182% compared to the previous year. It was noted that in the first quarter of 2021, 41 million trips were made internationally, and in the first 3 months of 2022 this number reached an estimated 117 million people.
High turnover growth
The impact of the tourism recovery has had a positive impact on the tourism retail industry as well. Swiss travel retailer Dufry, operating in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, noted that in the first quarter of 2022, Europe, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean countries, including Turkey, were the best performers. and Greece. Dufry Group CEO Julian Diaz noted that pandemic mitigation measures since February have also accelerated the travel retail sector.
“Recovery continued through April and May. Compared to January-February and January-April, Dufri's turnover has more than doubled,” he explained. On the other hand, compared to the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of last year, the turnover of the Dufry Group increased by 144.5%.
Forecasts and expectations
The tourism sector, which has not yet reached the pre-Covid levels of 2019, is expected to continue to recover during 2022, while the growth rate of the global economy and the situation in Ukraine are factors in the slowdown in tourism development. While international tourism revenues have reached $602 billion, Europe and the Middle East have become the two leading regions in this sense. Some industry representatives argued that a return to 2019 indicators could take place in 2023, while another part indicated that the recovery could take place no earlier than 2024.
According to the UNWTO report, in the first 3 months of this year, Europe received almost 4 times more tourists than in the first quarter of 2021, and demand mainly came from countries in the same region. In the US, there were more than twice as many trips in the same period as last year. However, flights to both continents lag behind 2019 figures.
While travel to the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific grew by 132%, 96% and 64% respectively in the first quarter of 2022, the number has not reached the level of three years ago. According to a report by the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Eurail, between May and August Europe will see a limited improvement in tourist interest from foreign countries such as Brazil, Canada, the US and China, although it will increase compared to last year. Rising fares are expected to reduce the appetite for long flights.
Foreign tourist traffic has surpassed domestic
Burak Chelet, member of the board of directors and CEO of the Turkish company DESA, said in an interview with publications that the need for suitcases, without which travel is unthinkable, along with tourism, is also accelerating: “From our point of view, there is certainly a recovery, and we are seeing that people have a serious demand for travel. Flight habits are very important to us. In particular, domestic flights to China, the US and Europe have reached 2019 levels or even overtaken them. The indicator for 2019 has not yet been recorded on foreign flights. Judging by Samsonite Turkey (luggage manufacturer), we have seen a significant increase in demand since June last year. This year we quickly entered the tourist season. What really surprised us is that this year the level of foreign purchases rose to 52% and exceeded the level of domestic purchases. I think when we go on summer holidays, we will see mobility within the country as well. In terms of shopping in Turkey, there is a serious opportunity for foreign tourists. They may also need a suitcase to deliver purchases from here to their country. In general, the consumer buys suitcases very smartly and prudently.
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