06 Jun 2022
  • 44% of public want new rules and technology to ease travel, YouGov poll of 11 countries finds
  • 34% want travel to be more sustainable and 29% call for planet and health to come before profit
  • Amid economic uncertainty 42% of people still plan international holidays in next 6 months
  • 64% do not expect to travel for business reflecting concerns of a global slowdown

Travelers want the global tourism sector to learn the lessons of the pandemic, and to change for the better, a brand-new global survey has found.

The Future of Tourism Survey explored attitudes to travel and the expectations of consumers in 11 countries around the world. It found that:

  • 44% of respondents called for greater harmonization of health protocols and the use of technology to enable seamless travel.
  • 34% wanted to see greater sustainability at the heart of tourism.
  • 29% wanted to see health and sustainability prioritized over profits for the travel sector.
  • 33% called for greater financial protections for travelers - likely in response to the experience of the pandemic.

People from China, India, and South Korea were most in favor of greater harmonization of safety protocols and use of technology to make travel simpler.

Conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, almost 14,000 people were polled, across China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Sweden.

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia said: "The pandemic has a profound impact on the global tourism sector. It has shown us all - travelers, tourists, businesses and governments, that we can do things differently.

"The Future of Tourism Survey shows that the public want us to learn the lessons of the pandemic and to make changes that put health, sustainability, and the better use of technology, at the heart of future tourism."

The Survey found that the travelers' attitudes have changed following two years of pandemic and lock downs which have constrained travel. 55% of respondents are now more likely to travel domestically. And 32% of people are more willing to make an international trip than they were before COVID.

Economic uncertainty and rising prices have damped enthusiasm for travel over the next 6 months. Globally, 42% of people are either likely or very likely to travel internationally for a holiday, compared with 39% who are either unlikely or very unlikely to do so.

The biggest impact, however, has been on business travel. Just 18% of respondents consider themselves likely or very likely to travel for internationally for business.

Chinese, Japanese and Americans were least optimistic about the prospect of international travel. By contrast British, Indians and Saudis considered themselves most likely to travel internationally in the next 6 months

The Future of Tourism Survey was released ahead of the 116th meeting of the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia next week, hosted by the Saudi Ministry of Tourism.

Strengthening the tourism sector and adapting to future demands for greater sustainability and resilience are high on the agenda.

Prior to the pandemic, Travel and Tourism (including its direct, indirect and induced impacts) accounted for 1 in 4 of all new jobs created across the world, 10.3% of all jobs (333 million), and 10.3% of global GDP (US$9.6 trillion).

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia said: "Saudi Arabia is a brand-new tourism destination. We opened our doors to international tourism just before the pandemic, and because of that we are willing and able to think and act in new and different ways.

"By aligning vision, leadership and resources we have been able to create a new model for tourism which is more resilient and more sustainable by design. We look forward to sharing our insights and to working with our international partners to build a brighter future for tourism."

Last week the World Economic Forum released its Travel and Tourism Development Index. Saudi Arabia moved up 10 places to 33rd in the world overall.  The independent index benchmarks 117 countries on 17 pillars crucial to the development and resiliency of their travel and tourism industries.

Saudi moved from 43rd in 2019 to 33rd in 2021, the second largest rise in rankings, as a result of improvements across almost all indicators.  This was the first report to be produced since Saudi opened for international tourism in September 2019.

The UNWTO Executive Council will meet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 7-8 June.


About the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Tourism leads the Saudi Tourism ecosystem, with support from the Saudi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development Fund. The Ministry sets the Kingdom's tourism sector strategy and is responsible for the development of policies and regulations, developing human capital, gathering statistics, and attracting investment.  It works in partnership with the Saudi Tourism Authority, which promotes Saudi Arabia as a global tourism destination, and the Tourism Development Fund, which executes the Ministry's investment strategy by providing funding for the sector's development.

Headed by His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Ministry was founded in February 2020, following the opening of Saudi Arabia to international leisure tourists for the first time in its history in 2019. Saudi Arabia aims to welcome 100 million tourism visits by 2030, increasing the sector's contribution to GDP from 3% to 10%. Digital initiatives, providing technical solutions for tourism promotion, research and development to improve the tourism sector, innovation for emerging technologies.

About the United Nations World Tourism Organization

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

YouGov Polling: Methodology:

  • Online interviews via YouGov's proprietary panel + partner panels

Target Profile:

  • Residents of markets listed below
  • Males & females aged 18+ (general population sample)

Sample Size:

Country                                               Sample  Representation
US1000Nat rep
UK 2000Nat rep
Spain1000Nat rep
India1000Urban rep
China1000Online rep
KSA1000Urban rep
Mexico1000Urban rep
Germany2000Nat rep
Japan1000Nat rep
South Korea1000Nat rep
Sweden1000Nat rep

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