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How long will it take for the tourism industry to recover after COVID-19?

The first Covid19 case was reported in China in December 2019. Since then, the coronavirus outbreak has spread rapidly all over the world. Most countries are still fighting against the epidemic. However, the first good news started to come from China.

Due to the decrease in the number of cases(no domestic cases), the measures against coronavirus began to be relaxed. After the restrictions were relaxed, the travel trends started to draw a positive graph.

The whole world, especially the tourism industry, is asking the same question; how long will it take until we can travel safely and freely again? And, how long will it take for hotel reservations to recover? In a study conducted in China, the country that survived the COVID-19 shock, application download trends in the past few weeks were analyzed. In this study, Chinese app-download trends in the main categories which are air travel, online search and reservation, accommodation (hotels and apartments), urban mobility (bike, car, and ride-sharing) tours and activities, have been studied. The top five mobile apps based on app download volumes in the past 12 weeks were selected for this study. According to Travel & Mobility Tech’s study, the results are very promising and provide much-needed optimism.

At the graph, we can see the week-over-week change in-app downloads of the five major airlines in China. There is a sharp decline after the lockdown in Wuhan and it reached -%50 in two weeks. After it reached the bottom point on February 9 in two weeks, it took 1 month to rise to positive values again (values before the lockdown in Wuhan). As a total, it took 42 days (from Feb 9th to March 8th) to reach the positive growth rates in app downloads in airlines. It is still far away from the level in pre-crisis, however, we can see that the first shock is overcome very quickly as people download more airline apps than the previous week.

Also, we can see a 73% increase from the bottom of the graph to the early days of March. These findings of the Travel & Mobility Tech’s study shows us that Chinese citizens are preparing themselves for holidays in the near future.

Recovery times of the other travel categories

When we examine the other categories’ graphs, we can see the recovery time changes due to the category. The fastest recoveries are Bike-Sharing, Car-Sharing, and Tours&Activities with 21 days. And when we look at the booking platforms, the graphics show us the average recovery time is 42 days.

According to Travel & Mobility Tech, ‘the difference between the categories shows us that the faster recovery time for urban mobility is driven by the frequent and prevalent usage of those modes to enable movement in urban environments. People rely on them to get to work or move around town.

Positive mood in the air?

The China data shows us that the consumer interest in travel is coming back quicker than we all would think. As travel bans/restrictions are lifted we can see that the consumers are showing interest to travel again. The most important question, on the other hand, would be to what extend the pre-crisis demand can be replaced in the near future. Let’s wait and see.

But despite the difficulties we all are facing right now, we remain very positive about the future of the travel industry, possibly starting to recover within four-to-eight weeks and then continue recovering from this crisis period gradually.

Think Positive, Stay Strong!

The good news is coming from various sources. Here at BNT, we continue working hard to provide you the best service possible in these extraordinary days and we are sure that our partnership will be even stronger when this struggle ends.

Wash your hands often, think positive and stay strong!

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