Report Overview

This report highlights the latest insights from the Skift Travel Health Index. The index covers travel’s performance since January 2020, up to and including December 2022.

The Skift Travel Health Index is a real-time measure of the performance of the travel industry at large, and the core verticals within it. The Index provides the travel industry with a powerful tool for strategic planning, which is of utmost importance as times remain uncertain.

Skift Research launched the Index in May 2020 as the Skift Recovery Index. At the start of 2022 we rebranded the Index as the Skift Travel Health Index, to reflect some far-ranging changes: the addition of many more indicators, additional data partners, and most importantly, our continued effort to track the industry health beyond the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are thankful for the support of our data partners: Amadeus, Aviasales, Beyond, CarTrawler, Cendyn, Collinson, Criteo, Duetto, ForwardKeys, Hotelbeds, Key Data Dashboard, OAG, Onyx CenterSource, OTA Insight, RateGain, Shiji Group, Skyscanner, Sojern, Transparent, and TrustYou. Their data allows us to provide you with a monthly assessment of travel’s performance.

2022 Sizzles Out But Saw Real Gains

There has been little movement in the global Index score since June, and December 2022 was no different. The Skift Travel Health Index now stands at 86 points, meaning it falls 14% short of 2019 performance levels. 

Although there has been little movement into year end, performance in 2022 has improved over 2021. All regions improved their performance during 2022, with Europe seeing the strongest growth at nearly 50%. Latin and North America continue to be the strongest performers, however, both performing above 2019 levels. 

Annual Comparison of Index Scores by Region – December 2020 vs 2021 vs 2022

Index scoresDec-20Dec-21Dec-22Growth 20/21Growth 21/22
Asia Pacific48547313%35%
Europe32639497%49%
Latin America549110769%18%
Middle East and Africa55669420%42%
North America478510381%21%

From a sector point of view, vacation rentals close the year strongest, as it has done every year since the start of the pandemic. The sector performed 15 percentage points above 2019 levels in December. Car rentals saw the strongest improvement between December 2021 and 2022, with Aviation also picking up strongly in 2022.  

Annual Comparison of Index Scores by Sector – December 2020 vs 2021 vs 2022 

Index scoresDec-20Dec-21Dec-22Growth 20/21Growth 21/22
Aviation35537851%47%
Hotels47678443%25%
Vacation Rentals739811534%17%
Car Rental39469818%113%

China Spurs on 2023 Optimism

As already noted last month, things have started to move forwards in China. Yet, the world was taken by surprise at the speed of the country’s re-opening, with the first international flights taking place on January 8th. 

December 2022 did not yet see a significant bump in performance for China, but it did for neighboring Hong Kong, which is so reliant on Chinese travelers. 

CountryNovember 2022 ScoreDecember 2022 scoreMoM Growth (abs)MoM Growth (%)YoY Growth (%)
Hong Kong, China58.470.111.720.0%118%
Thailand8090.610.613.3%152%
Italy95.1102.77.68.0%72%
Japan78.984.85.97.5%119%
Australia93.4100.16.77.2%64%
Russia53.956.72.85.2%-29%
Spain99.6103.94.34.3%61%
Mexico114.9119.54.64.0%20%
Germany8385.82.83.4%79%
France96.399.22.93.0%40%
Argentina93.5962.52.7%33%
United Arab Emirates103.6105.51.91.8%32%
Indonesia82.183.51.41.7%93%
Brazil104.4106.11.71.6%12%
Canada95.9971.11.1%49%
United Kingdom98.399.10.80.8%71%
India99.61000.40.4%48%
U.S.104.8103.9-0.9-0.9%22%
China56.955.4-1.5-2.6%0%
Turkey109.8104.8-5.0-4.6%29%
Singapore88.183.9-4.2-4.8%130%
South Africa8378.3-4.7-5.7%75%

Much has been written about the speed and shape of the Chinese restart of international travel, and not all of it is positive. Many countries worried about new Covid-19 variants, or have reintroduced some level of entry requirements for Chinese travelers. As we saw during the depths of the pandemic, travel has become a political issue once again.  

But that is not necessarily stopping travel demand. One indicator which shows that things are on the mend is flight seat capacity. OAG data for the coming months shows a significant increase in scheduled international flights. That said, March 2023 seat capacity for international flights is still at only 17% of March 2019 levels. 

This is, however, a significant improvement over what data showed last month. Over the past month, seats scheduled by airlines increased by 24% for February 2023, and by 12% in March 2023. 

Not only will full travel recovery not be possible without the return of Chinese outbound travelers, but the opening up of China will also provide a much needed boost in the West, where the tough macro-economic environment is impacting consumer spending behavior. 

Skift Research 2023 Forecast on Economic Situation

The U.S. economy is at increasing risk of a recession in 2023, and according to the IMF half of the European Union will head into a recession this year. In the UK, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said the economy is “likely to get worse before it gets better”. All in all, the IMF expects that a third of global economies will be in recession in 2023. 

At Skift Research, however, we remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of travel. Demand from Asia Pacific provides a boost, and the travel industry is not seeing the layoffs other sectors like tech is currently experiencing, since the bulk of layoffs happened during the pandemic and the industry still is not back to pre-pandemic staffing levels. 

And while travel is closely linked to the wider health of the economy, we’ve been focused on getting back to pre-pandemic levels, whilst the industry has forgotten that the rest of the economy has already moved on. 

In North America, GDP is on track to be 20% higher than in 2019, while the Travel Health Index has only just returned to 100%. The industry is calling a victory for getting back to pre-pandemic levels, but the truth is that the broader economy has grown by 20 to 30% in the meantime.  

This all to say that even if travel will be impacted by a recession and reduction in travel spending, there is still a lot of room for growth. If GDP growth drops by a few percentage points, the difference in where travel stands today remains significant and continues to allow for growth. 

In Skift Research’s recently released Global Travel Outlook 2023 we provide a forecast for trips and sector performance. International trips are set to grow 50% in 2023, compounding a 90% growth rate in 2022. 

Skift Research forecasts growth for all travel sectors in 2023. Cruise will grow strongest as it saw very limited recovery in 2022. Airlines, likewise, still have a lot of ground to make up. Even short-term rentals, which has seen strong growth each year since the pandemic started, is expected to continue its resilience into 2023. 

More info on each sector can be found in our Outlook 2023 report. 

Methodology

Data Partners

Skift Research collects and analyzes data from 20 different data partners, to provide the most comprehensive view of the travel industry’s performance. 

Index Design

The Index tracks 84 indicators per country to assess the health of the travel industry in each country. These indicators are aggregated into performance categories and sub-categories. The top level of division is by travel vertical, and each vertical is further divided by intent indicators, booking indicators, and key performance indicators.

The Index covers the following travel sectors:

Country Coverage

The Index focuses on the travel performance in 22 of the largest tourism economies, combined accounting for 62% of inbound tourism receipts, 67% of outbound tourism expenditure, and 78% of global 2019 GDP.

– Argentina

– Australia

– Brazil

– Canada

– China

– France

– Germany

– Hong Kong, China

– India

– Indonesia

– Italy

– Japan

– Mexico

– Russia

– Singapore

– South Africa

– Spain

– Thailand

– Turkey

– U.S.

– United Arab Emirates

– United Kingdom

Index Score Calculation

The Index is designed to provide an easy overview of the health of the travel industry. We have tracked the industry since the beginning of 2020. For 2020, 2021, and 2022 data, the performance of each indicator is compared to the same time in 2019. The Index provides a score relative to a baseline reading of 100 for the same month in 2019.

The full methodology can be found on our website

Data Tables

Total Skift Travel Health Index Scores by Country

May 2022Jun 2022Jul 2022Aug 2022Sep 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022
Argentina94.899.095.596.9116.2100.693.596.0
Australia92.298.293.094.298.594.893.4100.1
Brazil106.7103.299.3103.1101.297.9104.4106.1
Canada95.199.392.294.699.797.695.997.0
China45.161.966.562.456.955.556.955.4
France105.7102.596.2100.697.694.596.399.2
Germany86.987.778.482.387.281.783.085.8
Hong Kong, China37.141.245.761.054.858.558.470.1
India103.4104.0101.8108.0107.998.399.6100.0
Indonesia82.385.075.981.281.683.082.183.5
Italy106.8103.098.4101.3101.196.095.1102.7
Japan56.857.761.466.076.980.478.984.8
Mexico109.1113.2109.8113.6114.6111.6114.9119.5
Russia55.153.852.958.460.455.353.956.7
Singapore84.686.879.284.489.686.188.183.9
South Africa79.279.077.385.086.981.183.078.3
Spain97.694.589.793.794.795.399.6103.9
Thailand83.185.176.574.679.978.680.090.6
Turkey111.3115.698.1101.8113.2114.7109.8104.8
U.S.102.2104.4100.4101.2105.0103.2104.8103.9
United Arab Emirates113.0104.796.6102.5105.5108.5103.6105.5
United Kingdom99.998.895.799.498.998.198.399.1

Aviation Scores by Country

May 2022Jun 2022Jul 2022Aug 2022Sep 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022
Argentina73.176.275.581.985.180.279.084.2
Australia80.286.081.884.588.689.990.493.9
Brazil106.491.790.493.990.789.293.993.2
Canada79.782.078.079.883.183.784.987.0
China27.032.437.230.430.328.535.743.1
France91.790.486.285.082.982.283.986.6
Germany78.279.471.872.872.871.371.277.4
Hong Kong, China12.914.615.118.424.329.234.045.9
India102.698.698.098.698.092.6104.3106.4
Indonesia51.354.946.451.255.755.055.457.5
Italy110.9107.8102.4101.1100.498.595.1108.6
Japan40.543.444.946.557.361.765.673.6
Mexico97.398.899.9100.9101.9101.6102.8105.9
Russia72.380.576.073.477.965.267.466.1
Singapore60.265.755.256.863.663.765.670.2
South Africa74.775.274.473.072.571.070.575.0
Spain99.296.893.394.095.395.6102.5104.7
Thailand57.261.058.161.067.066.671.175.7
Turkey106.2103.597.9110.4108.098.7101.4105.2
U.S.91.894.890.791.596.394.895.096.9
United Arab Emirates97.092.394.285.389.490.486.692.1
United Kingdom89.688.985.986.784.283.787.092.6

Aviation contributes 37.5% to the total score. The scores in this table have been indexed to give a better insight into performance. 100 = pre-pandemic level.

Hotel Scores by Country

May 2022Jun 2022Jul 2022Aug 2022Sep 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022
Argentina115.3125.2119.7114.1146.1112.0100.2104.3
Australia95.0103.194.895.8103.591.596.695.1
Brazil114.1122.5110.9119.9118.8111.1121.9124.9
Canada111.4121.8110.2112.3124.2109.7111.0105.4
China55.586.691.482.872.858.555.348.5
France116.8120.7107.2113.6114.1103.6106.3111.6
Germany100.1105.990.595.1105.891.594.088.4
Hong Kong, China49.252.160.290.259.958.856.874.6
India126.0124.1112.7123.8122.897.389.989.7
Indonesia121.1122.3102.9105.398.098.495.999.9
Italy115.2112.5103.6104.6109.6100.998.394.0
Japan78.075.275.976.390.894.281.683.3
Mexico130.2135.7121.0126.4128.1125.4130.1136.3
Russia22.011.111.920.519.319.112.622.4
Singapore105.1101.593.8100.0104.896.8109.285.8
South Africa82.985.177.294.098.287.691.272.8
Spain104.1100.991.494.393.994.595.796.5
Thailand116.9114.690.680.587.087.586.0106.2
Turkey138.2151.2104.694.4131.8137.1118.6102.8
U.S.116.1116.0112.0106.7108.8103.9106.9102.6
United Arab Emirates130.7114.690.1112.5114.7122.1113.8114.6
United Kingdom106.5107.7104.8103.1105.4103.7104.5100.2

Hotels contributes 32.5% to the total score. The scores in this table have been indexed to give a better insight into performance. 100 = pre-pandemic level.

Vacation Rental Scores by Country

May 2022Jun 2022Jul 2022Aug 2022Sep 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022
Argentina137.8137.4137.9137.2139.1144.1143.8139.1
Australia137.3140.8135.5134.0138.2137.4103.0141.0
Brazil110.8108.1114.4117.0117.7115.1114.3113.2
Canada118.0119.8119.6109.3101.8113.493.7115.9
China112.6113.8112.7129.6107.8108.3109.0112.3
France124.8124.0125.3124.2122.4122.4125.3122.8
Germany96.595.795.095.096.499.0104.5110.0
Hong Kong, China62.670.875.286.188.084.491.797.9
India100.8101.0100.798.996.599.7100.2105.2
Indonesia82.978.482.685.089.094.099.6100.5
Italy116.1114.4116.6126.1117.8116.8116.1126.4
Japan61.762.664.068.572.079.298.3112.6
Mexico124.4123.4121.3129.4133.1124.5135.6142.3
Russia101.393.599.7106.5112.9112.9112.8112.5
Singapore93.097.396.7103.6108.2108.1103.2100.6
South Africa89.182.485.982.282.384.083.486.7
Spain108.8109.0108.4112.6114.5116.6119.3131.8
Thailand86.487.590.890.693.494.8102.3102.2
Turkey105.295.6105.8112.4124.1137.8146.3137.8
U.S.109.1112.3111.7111.8112.7112.3110.3120.3
United Arab Emirates123.4114.5119.9121.0126.5130.7128.6126.6
United Kingdom133.9131.5129.6128.0132.3129.3125.0126.7

Vacation Rentals contributes 10% to the total score. The scores in this table have been indexed to give a better insight into performance. 100 = pre-pandemic level. 2021 VR data for Argentina missing.

Car Rental Scores by Country

May 2022Jun 2022Jul 2022Aug 2022Sep 2022Oct 2022Nov 2022Dec 2022
Argentina114.6111.4102.5108.4114.399.582.979.6
Australia106.7109.8109.6109.1106.1106.5103.7110.7
Brazil111.3109.8105.198.396.493.489.691.9
Canada117.3115.4108.3114.0117.6122.7122.0117.5
China43.148.556.155.556.785.482.566.2
France117.0103.297.3108.7104.0103.3102.6101.0
Germany85.581.278.882.185.784.584.195.6
Hong Kong, China66.076.282.989.8102.1118.4105.0105.8
India83.592.596.6102.4107.3114.6109.6103.1
Indonesia83.592.596.6102.4107.3114.6109.6103.1
Italy80.079.379.787.181.476.983.3100.9
Japan86.090.288.992.3100.298.795.199.4
Mexico119.7115.2114.2118.3116.3112.9109.2112.7
Russia74.674.674.674.674.674.674.674.6
Singapore114.9114.8116.5121.8123.7118.8114.4111.3
South Africa95.197.998.9104.2102.1103.8103.0100.8
Spain83.283.282.488.588.288.394.0106.9
Thailand85.493.797.7100.7103.098.393.795.8
Turkey78.784.791.395.488.8102.499.999.3
U.S.115.2113.4110.8120.0127.0127.3128.8124.4
United Arab Emirates116.9117.9111.8117.8117.9114.9113.1110.4
United Kingdom102.0101.7100.2112.2113.2115.1108.7108.1

Car Rental contributes 15% to the total score. The scores in this table have been indexed to give a better insight into performance. 100 = pre-pandemic level.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved; content based on data provided by Amadeus, Aviasales, Beyond, CarTrawler, Cendyn, Collinson, Criteo, Duetto, ForwardKeys (Forward Data SL), Hotelbeds, Key Data Dashboard, OAG, Onyx CenterSource, OTA Insight, RateGain, Shiji Group, Skyscanner, Sojern, Transparent, TrustYou. The content and the data provided in this document are for your information and internal use only. The content is provided “as is” without any warranty as to accuracy, completeness, satisfactory quality or fitness for any particular p