World Market for Travel Transportation

September 2021

Travel transportation is under intense scrutiny for its role in the climate emergency, with good reason. The pandemic has, however, proven that transportation is critical in tackling the global health crisis through vaccine distribution, as well as much needed tourism revenues and jobs in emerging markets. Accelerating sustainable transformation through decarbonisation and innovation is vital for transport players to ensure a resilient, long-term recovery, being part of the net zero solution.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings
In a tailspin

The travel transportation market nosedived in 2020, as the pandemic forced countries to ban travel, and impose quarantine restrictions and other health protocols, creating a complex patchwork of disparate regulations. In a single year, sales fell by 58%, wiping off USD723 billion. A rebound is set for 2021, with full recovery in 2024 at the earliest.

Hot air

There is a major problem with transportation, due to the over-dependency on air transport, which is highly cost intensive, with a large carbon footprint; however, only by adopting a multi-modal, sustainable transport system will a 1.5°C pathway be achieved.

Big hitters

The largest sources of transportation sales growth are the US and Asia Pacific, as rising disposable incomes translate into a desire to fly. With the US and China as the world’s largest emitters, accelerating decarbonisation of transportation will be key.

Corporate shakeout

The current financial landscape for transport players is being held together artificially by state aid. Once all support is removed and loans repaid, there will be more corporate casualties, bankruptcies and M&As, with more mobile-first start-ups moving in.

Code red

There was a missed opportunity to tie state aid to climate commitments; nevertheless, the scrutiny of transport players will intensify, especially as the sector’s share of the carbon budget is set to sky-rocket. Calling “code red” on sustainability and the need for net zero emissions by 2050 is the only way to ensure the best future for people and the planet.

Electric future

Progress continues to be made in the field of sustainable aviation fuels and innovation in electric, hybrid aircraft, with huge opportunities for multi-modal transport systems to revolutionise the way consumers travel.

Role play

Transport has proved its relevance during the pandemic, moving vaccines and medical supplies as part of the COVAX efforts to deliver equitable distribution to low-income countries. Greater efforts in decarbonisation and being part of net zero solutions will help to pave a resilient and purpose-driven future.

Key findings
Pandemic has a severe impact on transportation
Travel nosedives, with long-term ramifications for the future
Global country overview
Big push for multi-modal recovery with alternative modes
Region by category: Asia Pacific to lead recovery and future growth
Category by region: airlines still dominate despite sustainability concerns
Regional channel trends: online the clear winner
Top 10 markets: China and US tower over the rest
Travel bans and restrictions linger, restricting freedom of movement
Unpredictable recovery timelines exacerbate volatility
Challenging outlook over the near term
Double vaccination key to a freer world, yet equity vital
Market fragmentation persistently high in emerging markets
Top 10 companies: avoiding bankruptcy through bailouts
Top 10 companies for growth: not all plain sailing
Examining five trends shaping travel transportation
Business travel rising from the ashes, but not everywhere
Safe and COVID-19-proof tech, but lack of consistency globally
Seamless and contactless drive ancillary revenues
Code red for the climate emergency
Multi-faceted operational challenges
Regional category snapshot: Bus
Regional category snapshot: Charter
Regional category snapshot: Cruise
Regional category snapshot: Ferry
Regional category snapshot: Low cost carriers
Regional category snapshot: Rail
Regional category snapshot: Other transport
Regional industry snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional industry snapshot: Australasia
Regional industry snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional industry snapshot: Latin America
Regional industry snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional industry snapshot: North America
Regional industry snapshot: Western Europe


Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.

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