Report Overview

Mission of the Skift Travel Health Index

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. Covid-19 has routed the travel industry, with the impact of the pandemic quantified for 22 countries in the Skift Travel Health Index. The Index provides the travel industry with a powerful tool for strategic planning, of utmost importance as times remain uncertain.

Skift Research launched the Index in May 2020 as the Skift Recovery Index, and have rebranded it at the start of 2022 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.

Included in the index are:

  • Monthly top-level global and country travel recovery indices.
  • Monthly country-level indices for the following travel verticals: hotels, vacation rentals, aviation, and car rental.
  • Monthly performance of inbound, outbound, and domestic travel by country.
  • Monthly global and country-level macroeconomic index, built from unemployment, industrial production, retail sales, and stock market returns indicators.
  • A holistic view of the entire customer journey, starting at website visits and searches on booking sites, moving on to actual bookings and reservations made, considering airline seat capacity, cancellations, and finally including actual passenger volumes and load factors, and stays made.
  • A range of indicators which take into consideration both trips already made, as well as reservations that are on the books for future trips.

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

The selection of these countries is a combination of including the largest economies, and most important tourist destinations and origin markets. The selection purposely includes a number of net exporters of tourism (more inbound tourism than outbound tourism), and net importers of tourism, to track how this impacts recovery.

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 counts that the 2020 performance of each indicator is compared to the same time in 2019.

For 2021 and 2022 counts that the performance of each indicator is similarly compared to the same time in 2019, since 2020 and 2021 do not provide a sound benchmark year. This means that calculations look as follows:

1. Performance in January 2020 (Jan 1 – 31 2020) is compared to January 2019 (Jan 1 – 31 2019)

2. Performance in January 2021 (Jan 1 – 31 2021) is compared to January 2019 (Jan 1 – 31 2019)

3. Performance in January 2022 (Jan 1 – 31 2022) is compared to January 2019 (Jan 1 – 31 2019)

The Index provides a score relative to a baseline reading of 100 for the same month in 2019.

Comparing the current performance with 2019 figures, which was a strong year for travel in most countries and verticals, allows for easy interpretation as different verticals and countries have shown fluctuating performances.

Seasonality provides major fluctuations in the travel industry, and impacts countries differently, and by comparing the current month with the same month in 2019, the Index compensates for any seasonal fluctuations.

At the beginning of 2021 and 2022, changes were made to the Index to further improve the data, by adding data partners and indicators. This means there are time series breaks, which could skew growth rates between December and January of 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Retrospective Data Changes

To make the Index near real-time, we have opted for monthly updates of the Index scores. Most of our data partners are able to provide us with this data one week after the month is finished.

There are a few indicators which have a longer lag time, including government data for our macroeconomic indicators, hotel occupancy from STR, and flight load factors from IATA.

In these instances we use the most recent month’s data to make an estimate for the current month. We update this retrospectively when data becomes available, which might result in historical revisions to the Index scores.

Click below to download the full methodology for the Skift Travel Health Index, including further information about the index design, indicators, weightings, and our data partners.