Record profits and technological innovation characterise post-covid travel recovery

Travel is on track to blast through its pre-pandemic levels, as the post-covid recovery has seen international arrivals data that shows the world is operating at 80% of what it was before the world ground to a halt. In the first quarter of 2023, an estimated 235 million tourists travelled internationally – more than double the amount during the same period in 2022. All up, data from 2022 showed over 960 million tourists travelling internationally last year.

Travel is on track to blast through its pre-pandemic levels, as the post-covid recovery has seen international arrivals data that shows the world is operating at 80% of what it was before the world ground to a halt. In the first quarter of 2023, an estimated 235 million tourists travelled internationally – more than double the amount during the same period in 2022. All up, data from 2022 showed over 960 million tourists travelling internationally last year.

Europe in particular had strong demand, reaching 90% of 2019 levels in Q1 this year. While Asia and the Pacific is hovering around 54%, this is expected to accelerate given China’s reopening.

Inflation and oil prices, which are contributing to higher transport and accommodation costs, are leading travellers to hone in on their bargain hunting abilities. Consumers banding together for their travel plans is further fuelling the data led transformation of the travel industry.

The travel industry as a whole is largely made up of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for around 85% of the ecosystem. Digitisation is often viewed as a crucial tool for these SMEs to unlock tremendous potential to refine their offerings and ultimately excel in the industry.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has developed a platform called ‘Digital Futures’, where travel SMEs can work with cutting-edge technology partners to improve their technological standards. It features a self-diagnostic tool that evaluates key business digital strategy dimensions, and offers five different solution pathways – connectivity, business growth, e-commerce, big data & analytics and payments & security.

A key UNWTO Digital Futures partner is €31 billion market cap Amadeus, the global leading provider of IT solutions to the travel and tourism industry. Employing over 18,000 people and clocking almost €4.5 billion revenue in 2022, the company acts both as a worldwide network connecting travel providers and travel agencies through a highly effective processing platform for the distribution of travel products and services, and as a provider of a comprehensive portfolio of IT solutions which automate certain mission-critical business processes, such as reservations, inventory management and operations for travel providers.

Amadeus is a staple for airlines, hotels, rail operators, cruise and ferry operators, and travel agencies. 396 million bookings were made by travel agencies through their distribution platforms in 2022, and a total of 1.54 billion passengers boarded onto flights booked through their reservation platforms the same year.

Air travel has been a hot topic of discussion lately in Australia, with Qantas’ share price being propelled to within a whisker of its pre-pandemic all time high after the company posted a record 1H23 profit of $1.428 billion

The much anticipated Virgin Australia IPO is well advanced, and shareholders are in line to receive around $730 million in capital return as the airline approaches its first full year of profit in a decade. After an already shaky balance sheet was crushed by the pandemic, Bain Capital bought the company out of administration – and now nearly all of Virgin’s 7,000 employees will get some form of bonus.

If you are interested in future investment opportunities in the technology and e-commerce industry, register your interest and we will keep you updated.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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