Is the Era of ‘Revenge Travel’ Coming to an End? New Reports Hint at Travelers Curbing Plans

The Era of Unabated “Revenge Travel” May Be Coming to a Close

New reports show that after years of inflation and rising travel costs, travelers may finally be curtailing their travel plans. A new report by the research company Morning Consult reveals that travel intentions are increasing in several countries, but flatlining or falling in others, particularly in Europe.

Travel Intentions Declining in Europe

According to Morning Consult’s “The State of Travel & Hospitality” report published in September, intentions to travel dropped 11 percentage points in France and six in Germany since 2022. The survey also showed a decrease in interest to travel in Canada and Russia (-4 percentage points each).

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Despite pent-up demand, the data suggests that revenge travel is likely to fade. Lindsey Roeschke, a travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Consult, states that the majority of those who were waiting to take their revenge trips have already done so. The report indicates that factors such as inflation and the influx of North American tourists have led to a more pessimistic outlook on travel in Europe compared to other regions.

Revenge Travel Expected to Fade in Asia-Pacific

The economic advisory firm Oxford Economics predicts that revenge travel is also likely to fade in Asia-Pacific. Although pent-up demand fueled travel in the region in the first half of 2023, the trend is starting to reverse. The report highlights the decline in Singaporean visitors to Malaysia following a surge in late 2022 and suggests that similar dynamics will occur in the rest of the region. As the effects of tightening monetary policies hit travelers’ wallets, arrivals from other parts of the world, especially the United States and Europe, are also expected to decrease.

Chinese Consumers Losing Interest in Travel

Oxford Economics warns that Chinese consumers are rapidly losing their interest in travel. Factors such as high unemployment, negative wealth effects, and weak wage growth contribute to this decline. The report notes the possibility of a permanent shift in travel preferences among Chinese tourists, as they increasingly choose to travel domestically. This shift could be influenced by the perception that international trips have lost their status symbol appeal.

The boost purely from pent-up demand may soon run its course.

Moreover, Morning Consult’s report reveals a decline in Chinese travelers’ interest in visiting certain places. Intentions to visit North America, in particular, have dropped significantly. This decline is concerning for destinations that were hoping for a more robust recovery. While outbound travel from China is expected to continue growing, it may not be enough to compensate for the loss of travelers from other regions, resulting in a slowdown in the overall pace of the tourism recovery.

Fizzling Pent-Up Demand

According to Oxford Economics, the tourism boost to Asia has passed its peak, and the pure boost from pent-up demand may soon run its course. Consumers in advanced economies, like the United States, are likely to moderate their spending plans due to an uncertain economic environment. The report suggests that the travel industry may experience a slowdown as home economies face challenges. However, a JLL survey shows that 77% of hotel owners and operators in Asia-Pacific anticipate a rise in occupancy levels in 2024.

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