The Recovery of the Tourism and Travel Industry

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The travel, tourism, and hospitality industries are finally starting to recover and return to their pre-pandemic numbers. Since the pandemic, Sabre recently reported its best recovery at the end of the third quarter, with net air bookings nearing 60 percent of 2019 levels. Overall, for the full quarter, Sabre hit 80 million total global bookings, which is 57 percent of the 2019 levels.

According to Sabre CEO Sean Menke, the quarter started slow due to airlines experiencing operational challenges, with net air bookings in July at 50 percent of 2019 levels- but they improved in August, hitting 58 percent, and further improved in September, hitting 59 percent of 2019 levels. October showed additional recovery, with a projection of a low 60 percent range for fourth-quarter air bookings.

Sabre’s recovery is not slowing down in leisure or corporate demand, according to Menke. Airfares booked through Sabre are on a positive slope with average fares of about $100 higher (more than 30 percent) than the 2019 baseline .

Sabre reported its total travel solutions revenue was up 55 percent year over year at $604 million, and its total consolidated revenue for the quarter was up 50 percent year over year at $663 million.

Companies and organizations are also meeting more frequently than during the pandemic.

According to Avis Budget Group, corporate travel demand was strong in the third quarter, exceeding both 2019 and 2021 levels. September was the busiest month on record with a significant increase in corporate businesses as a contributing factor. The increase was most pronounced after Labor Day, “with new signings of accounts and partnerships powering robust midweek demand,” Avis Budget CEO Joe Ferraro said during an earnings call.

“Most travel organizations are reporting declines in commercial travel compared to 2019. We have not seen that” Ferraro said. “We’ve seen terrific growth in government, defense contracting, aerospace, tech companies, logistic companies.”

ABG reported third-quarter revenue of $3.55 billion, 29 percent higher than 2019’s third quarter. ABG records its best quarterly result in history with a net income of $1.03 billion, a 53 percent increase year over year.

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