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Tourism takes wings in Europe, while Putin urges Russians not to go on holiday on this continent


The need to get out of the already too familiar space of the home, often with the role of office, adds to the natural desire for novelty and routine release, with possibilities amplified by the savings made during the pandemic. The result is a growing demand for travel, unevenly distributed globally, despite rising prices for both transport and accommodation, meals and destination services.

Regions largely detached from pandemic constraints, such as North America and Europe, are in contrast to Asia, where the impact of China’s restrictions is strongly felt.

The level of reservations is announced, in some desirable destinations, to be above that of 2019, although, in aggregate, the market is not seen to reach comparable levels until next year.

And recreational activities outside the home, “out-of-home entertainment” are again in high demand, both for locals and tourists, stimulating the travel market in the accommodation and transportation segment.

Attendance at concerts, sporting events, theater and other shows has exceeded expectations in Australia, where it is estimated (CommBank iQ) a value of 14% over 2019, increases of 35% being registered for theme parks. This is despite the inflation that “swallows” daily allowances and the massive increase in the cost of fuel, which is seen in the price of plane tickets and transport in general, but also other services such as guided tours to destinations or tourist buses.

There is even pressure on European railways, with rising energy and diesel costs, although not everyone has decided to respond in the same way.

In order to encourage the use of public transport, Germany has reduced its monthly train, bus and subway subscription to EUR 9 / month during the summer in an effort to encourage public transport and reduce fuel consumption. Compared to normal prices, the reduction is about 90%, depending on the city, with an estimated cost of 2.5 billion euros.

How did investors view the recent signals regarding the tourist season

For Hilton Worldwide, the profit has returned, and expectations are rising: after a loss of $ 0.72 billion in the first year of the pandemic, the company made a profit of $ 0.41 billion last year, and in Q2 it is expected (source : Final) $ 1.04 / share earnings compared to $ 0.71 in Q1. Shares lost 7.8% this year and 15.2% from their peak in April, but gained 23% from their pre-pandemic peak and 28% in January 2021, counting to the close on Friday, June 3rd.

Marriott it also peaked in April at $ 195.9 / share. It was down 10.8% from then until Friday, but is up 6.4% this year and about 14.1% above the pre-pandemic peak. From $ 1.25 / share in the first quarter, profit is expected to increase to $ 1.54 / share in Q2.

An interesting situation is that of Airbnb shares. Listed at a very different valuation from the initial one, in the suffering of the sector, a year and a half ago, Airbnb still managed to increase significantly, by more than a third, in the first part of its stock market. Hopes for a quick reopening translated into investors’ chances of the agile and competing player in the new “sharing” economy picking up the reopening cream. Although things seemed to be going well for about two quarters, there were some major changes. Airbnb shares hit a high of $ 212.58 per share, but have since fallen sharply. The uncertainty caused by the conflict in Ukraine, as well as the decision to withdraw from the Chinese market, have pulled down quotations, which are currently (at the close on Friday) by 33.2% below the level of April 5, and by 43.7 % below peak in November.

For Booking Holdings, the local peak was in February, and the consistent declines: from a peak of $ 2,715 per share in February, reached a low of 1,796 on March 8. The stock is now trading at $ 2,335 / share, a sharp return, but still at 14% highs.

Tourism in some regions has been the victim of the war in Ukraine, being affected by both reduced availability or even the ability to travel and higher costs.

Russian authorities have warned people not to travel to Europe, but to Turkey, India, and Sri Lanka.

According to data from Greece, only 1.1% of revenue came from there. However, Cyprus and even Turkey could be affected by the declining number of tourists in the current geopolitical context. From 4 million Russian tourists, the estimates of a Turkish tour operator association reach 2 million this year, which means lost revenue of 3-4 billion dollars. Cyprus could lose almost 290 million euros, a fifth of tourism revenue.

On the other hand, Asia is suffering greatly from China’s restriction on international tourism.

Especially middle-class and high-income young people in China feel the pressure imposed on anti-covid policies. For countries accustomed to a torrent of Chinese tourists, the situation is serious. Globally, travel in China topped the global top in 2019, with 154 million vacations abroad, compared to just under 100 million spent by Americans.

In the Cambodia an attempt was made to stimulate domestic tourism to save the industry: 4.6 million domestic travelers used the services by April, 10 times more than foreign tourists.

In the Thailand, limitations, the cost of an access permit and the risk of being quarantined have severely hampered the return. There are hopes of a return, some measures being eliminated and others would disappear, but the climb is steep: the level of visitors is at 25% in 2019, compared to 72% in Singapore and 65% in the Philippines.

In general, headlines in the hospitality and reservation services segment were poised to “take off” ahead of geopolitical, inflationary or restrictive shocks in China. The return trend, supported by accumulated travel desires, is likely to continue, but with huge regional differences.

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