Research Briefing | May 11, 2021

The slow road to recovery for city tourism

The slow road to recovery for city tourism

The pandemic had a devastating impact on tourism in 2020 and we expect that 2021 will be another challenging year as vaccination roll-outs have been slower than expected and renewed waves of infection have taken hold. International visitor arrivals to cities covered in our Global City Travel (GCT) service are set to be 57% below 2019 levels in 2021 while domestic visitor arrivals will remain 10% below pre-crisis levels.

What you will learn from this report:

  • City destinations will encounter a more challenging recovery compared to non-city destinations as tourists increasingly opt for less crowded destinations.
  • Domestic tourism, benefiting from an earlier easing of restrictions and quicker rebound in traveller confidence will lead the overall recovery, regaining pre-crisis levels by 2022.
  • International visitor arrivals to cities will be slower to recover, not exceeding 2019 levels until 2024. 
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