New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have been revealed showing the impact of Covid on the travel industry since March 2020 up until the 6-month mark of 2022, June 2022.
This survey of the course of the pandemic not only showed the overall impact of Covid on travel but revealed the excellent strive for recovery that the travel industry has made over the course of 2022. While figures covering 2020 and 2021 struggle with slow, often reversed, improvements, the impact of Covid has begun to release its hold in the past year.
The revenues of many in the travel sector have seen sustained recovery over the course of the first 6 months of 2022, despite being at only a quarter of pre-pandemic levels in 2020 and 2021. The survey states that over the course of 2020 and 2021 the impact of Covid was starkly evident with the combined tour operator and travel agent sector annual revenue coming to around £9.5 billion. This comes out at only a quarter of the £37.5 billion that was recorded in 2019, before the pandemic.
If it is broken down, the revenues for 2020 in April, May, and June were just 7%, 6%, and 8% of their counterparts in 2019, with the impact of Covid taking them down over 90% in just a few months.
Equally, between April 2020 and December 2021, these month-by-month revenues compared to pre-pandemic, 2019, statistics only managed to hit 50% of 2019 revenues, this coming only once in November 2021 before the surge of the Omicron variant.
In comparison, the revenue data for 2022 shows great improvements on these numbers, though we still have yet to equal the pre-pandemic levels. This data shows a sustained monthly comparison for tour operators and travel agents alike as greatly increased. In February 2022 the revenues were 63% of 2019, in March they were 67% of 2019, in April they were 77% of 2019, in May they were 88% of 2019, and in June they were 86% of 2019.
The impact of Covid wasn’t just monitored in revenue but shows the stats for the improved levels of employment in the travel sector over the course of our Covid recovery. In 2021, travel agents and aviation workforces saw a slump of 10,000 compared to 2020, with 42,641agents in the UK and 69,000 aviation employees remaining.
The travel agent numbers are expected to recover in the remainder of 2022, coming to 47,577 in 2022 in firms, though this is still a huge decrease from the 67,625 firms that were recorded by the ONS in 2016.
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