Research Insights What's in a market projection?

What's in a market projection?

While challenging to confidently project how 2021 will play out, Phocuswright has developed two alternate high-level scenarios (best-case and worst-case) to complement the official baseline projections made in the U.S. Travel Market Report 2020-2024 Series.

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Presented in light of the significant market uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, these best- and worst-case scenarios take into account a range of general and segment-specific factors, including:

  • Vaccine distribution and uptake
  • Travel restrictions
  • Infection rates
  • Governmental support
  • Economic indicators
  • Travel sentiment and more
In a best-case scenario, there would be a more rapid decline in case rates and effective vaccines would be widely distributed by spring. These factors – and corresponding recovery in lost jobs and wages – would drive consumer confidence and fuel more robust travel, including an earlier return in international demand. In this scenario, travel revenue would climb 33% in 2021, compared to the baseline projection of 19%.

Alternatively, further delays in controlling the virus would trigger more of a worst-case scenario for recovery. Significant spikes or waves of infections - perhaps in combination with vaccine-resistant variants or poor vaccine distribution - would create the need for tighter travel restrictions throughout the year. Consumer confidence would wane further and travel demand - both domestic and international - would remain severely depressed for much or all of the year. Such a scenario would equate to 6% market growth in 2021 and significantly delay full recovery.

Note that these alternative market scenarios aggregate similar projections illustrated at the segment level for all the individual reports that are part of this U.S. Travel Market 2020-2024 series. Data and projections featured in the balance of this report are based on the official baseline projections only.
Though the rebound will be uneven and take longer for some segments than others, travel suppliers and intermediaries that are able to weather the crisis can look forward to solid growth and a gradual return to normalcy in the years ahead. Curious about the state of the U.S. segments? See current trends, projections, and more here.

Related: 7 design principles for a standard health and immunity passport.

Included in this series:

See more 1 minute videos on global travel market projections, data, percentages and more here.

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