The Return of Travel and its Impact on Luggage Recovery

September 2023

The luggage industry faced significant challenges during the pandemic, with sales plummeting in 2020. As COVID-19 restrictions eased in 2021, travel rebounded, aiding sales recovery. However, factors like inflation, the war in Ukraine, and China's ongoing restrictions hindered complete revival. Travel recovery is expected by 2024, but the market will look different post-pandemic. Changing travel dynamics offer opportunities for luggage brands that adapt to evolving consumer needs.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Despite a strong rebound, sales of luggage remain below pre-pandemic levels

Luggage sales globally were heavily impacted by the pandemic, but as COVID-19 restrictions eased in 2021, travel returned and sales rebounded. However, inflationary pressures, the war in Ukraine and continued restrictions in China hampered the full recovery of the industry, causing global retail value sales to remain 20% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

North America recovers faster than Latin America

Value sales of luggage in North America had returned to 2019 levels by 2022, while unit sales will recover by 2024, reflecting rising selling prices and ongoing premiumisation in the region. Conversely, in Latin America, value sales are not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, and unit sales will not recover until late in the forecast period.

A challenging scenario pushes recovery in Europe further into the forecast period

Despite a strong rebound in 2022, luggage sales in Europe will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The war in Ukraine, higher energy and commodity prices, and inflation weighing on real incomes paint a challenging scenario over the forecast period in the region.

High dependency on China suggests risks to recovery in Asia

Sales of luggage in 2022 remained below pre-pandemic levels across countries in Asia Pacific. Continued COVID-19 restrictions in China throughout 2022 severely impacted overall industry performance. This, coupled with a late start to recovery in Japan, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, pushes the region’s return to 2019 levels further into the forecast period.

Luggage brands seek to capitalise on the return of travel

International and domestic trips are set to return to 2019 levels by 2024, but as happened in other industries, consumers’ needs around travel have evolved since the pandemic. Duration, frequency, purpose and travel modes are different now, and will continue to change, leading to changed needs for luggage. Brands able to understand these changes are set to grow.

Executive summary
Despite strong rebound, global sales of luggage remain below pre-pandemic levels
Demand for luxury travel goods will continue to grow, but at a slower pace
Travel rebounds and will return to pre-pandemic levels over the forecast period
Duty-free brings opportunities of growth over the forecast period
North America sales recovered faster than in Latin America
Fragmentation increases in the Americas, as leaders struggle to recover
Channel shifts are more evident in North America
Increased travel fares and restrictions force consumer to rethink their luggage needs
Positive outlook for travel expected to favour luggage sales in the region
The war in Ukraine pushes recovery in Europe further into the forecast period
Challenging scenario favours consolidation as Top 10 companies gain shares
Consumers return to stores, but e-commerce share remains higher than pre-pandemic
Sustainability and upcoming industry regulations to boost innovation
Travel to return to pre-pandemic levels, but performance differs across the region
European fashion industry need to rethink their strategies when targeting tourists
Luggage sales in Asia struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels
LVMH consolidates its position in the fragmented Asian market
Retail e-commerce, the pandemic’s big winner in Asia
Luggage recovery depends on how fast travel returns to normality in the region
Renewed consumer travel needs boost innovation in luggage
Domestic trips continues to appeal to consumers post-pandemic
The new face of domestic trips: A call for luggage innovation
The Middle East and Africa: The winner in the rise in inbound travel and spending
UAE strengthens its position as a shopping destination for luxury brands
Saudi Arabia also growing as a shopping destination for luxury brands
High expectations for Chinese tourists’ return to shopping as outbound travel recovers (1)
High expectations for Chinese tourists’ return to shopping as outbound travel recovers (2)
Asia Pacific set to see outbound spending on shopping increase faster than other regions
After the initial hype, interest on carry-ons remains high
Travel is back, and luggage companies should capitalise on this
Key findings

Personal Accessories

Personal Accessories refers to a diversified group of personal products including Bags & Luggage, Jewellery, Watches and Writing instruments.

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