UK Outbound Travel Industry Poised for a Bumper 2022

UK Outbound Travel Industry Poised for a Bumper 2022

All the Evidence Points to Pent Up Demand Fuelling Travel Boom

The UK travel industry is currently ramping up its lobbying efforts to the UK government to ditch its confusing and ever-changing traffic light travel system as a last desperate bid to save the summer.

 The UK Government has promised to look again at the traffic light system before Oct 1. However, the industry is fearful its efforts will not be successful – which highlights the need for lobbying reform which I proposed in a previous blog, Does the UK Travel Industry Need An Umbrella Organisation? (30 June).

Whether or not it is too late to save summer 2021, all the indicators point to a very busy and successful summer 2022.

IATA predicts 2022 will see international passenger numbers return to 88% of pre-pandemic levels, with 2021 standing at 52%. Furthermore, it believes 2023 will be 105% of pre-pandemic levels.

UK outbound data paints a similar optimistic picture. For example, reveals one third of searches are now for summer 2022.

A survey by Silver Travel Advisor of mainly 50-70 year olds, states 68% would spend as much as money as before or more on holidays in the next year. Of those, 46% say they would spend the same as in the past and 22% say they would spend more.

When asked about how many trips they would take, 46% planned the same number as in the past, while 10% planned more.

easyJet Holidays, Head of Distribution, Brad Bennetts, says summer 2021 has poised challenges. Although late bookings have started to pick up.

“Right now, people are booking to depart within three or four days’ time,” he said. “The forward booking profile is really strong; new bookings are as far as October next year. September and October [2022] are proving really strong as well.”

More than a quarter of Panache Cruises’  bookings made in August were for 2021, 42% for 2022 sailings, 25% for 2023 and 5% for 2024.

While, Qantas is preparing to restart flights to and from the UK from December this year. And Ryanair is anticipating pre-pandemic levels of bookings and prices for summer 2022.

The WTM Industry Report – released on the Monday 1 November at the event – polls both UK consumers and the WTM London participates. The data from both surveys is currently being analysed by the WTM team and the findings look very promising.

The report has purposely looked to  compared 2022 with 2019, so before the pandemic. Without giving anything away, the early indicators are very promising. There really does seem to be a pent up demand for from consumer to holiday, due to many people missing out on two years of holidays due to the pandemic. That pent up demand seems to put holidays at the top of UK consumers 2022 wish-lists, and will see many people take multiple holidays, and commit a significant money towards holidaying in 2022. 

Furthermore, a significant percentage of the industry professionals polled believe they will contract a greater amount of business at WTM London 2021 than they did at WTM London 2019.

Roll on WTM London 2019 and holidays in 2022.

Icelolly research

Silver Travel Advisors

easyJet Holidays



Panache Cruises


Paul Nelson has worked in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries for two decades – starting off as a journalist before moving into corporate communications and public relations. With an undergraduate journalism degree and post-graduate marketing degree, Nelson worked as a reporter on a number of local newspapers and trade publications before joining Travel Weekly. After seven years at Travel Weekly and Travolution, he moved in to corporate communications at the Group – managing PR and internal communications for the group and all its brands, including, Travelocity, Holiday Autos and Medhotels. Nelson then joined World Travel Market ultimately running the Press and PR department for the portfolio which covered WTM London, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Latin America and WTM Africa. He also co-founded and launched the International Travel & Tourism Awards before leaving to launch and head up a travel and tourism division at broadcast PR agency Markettiers. Nelson now works as a PR consultant.

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