3 charts show how coronavirus is affecting the travel industry

Early data show airlines and hotels suffering massive job and revenue losses due to the pandemic.

With data changing as quickly as COVID-19 spreads, taking a snapshot of the travel industry’s losses is difficult. These graphs offer a glimpse of how revenue losses as a result of the pandemic have hobbled an $8 trillion industry that supports more than one billion trips each year.

As the global lockdown continues into the spring and summer—peak travel and spending seasons—the airline industry stands to lose the most; current estimates put that loss at more than $250 billion.

Impact of the pandemic

on airlines

Based on travel restrictions and an expected global recession, IATA estimates that global air transport industry revenues could fall $252 billion, 44 percent below 2019’s numbers.

Percentage change in revenue

from 2019 to 2020

Per passenger and kilometers

0

-46%

Europe

-41%

Latin America

-39%

Middle East

-37%

Asia Pacific

-32%

Africa

-27%

North America

Estimated loss, billions of U.S.D.

Asia Pacific

-88

Europe

-76

North America

-50

Middle East

-19

Latin America

-15

Africa

-4

Monica Serrano, NG STAFF. SOURCE: International

Air Transport Association (IATA)

Impact of the pandemic on airlines

Based on travel restrictions and an expected global recession, IATA estimates that global air transport industry revenues could fall $252 billion, 44 percent below 2019’s numbers.

Percentage change in revenue from 2019 to 2020

Per passenger and kilometers

Europe

Latin America

Middle East

Asia Pacific

Africa

North America

0

-27%

-32%

-37%

-39%

-41%

-46%

Estimated loss, billions of U.S.D.

-76

-15

-19

-88

-4

-50

Monica Serrano, NG STAFF. SOURCE: International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Impact of the pandemic on airlines

Based on travel restrictions and an expected global recession, IATA estimates that global air transport industry revenues could fall $252 billion, 44 percent below 2019’s numbers.

Percentage change in revenue from 2019 to 2020

Per passenger and kilometers

Europe

Latin America

Middle East

Asia Pacific

Africa

North America

0

-27%

-32%

-37%

-39%

-41%

-46%

Estimated loss, billions of U.S.D.

-76

-15

-19

-88

-4

-50

Monica Serrano, NG STAFF. SOURCE: International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Hotels are in trouble, as well, with millions in jobs and revenue disappearing overnight.

Hotels most affected

by COVID-19

Not all U.S. hotels have been affected in the same way. Larger upscale hotels, which tend to hold conventions, were severely hit. Hotels in big cities and resorts have also seen a larger drop.

By Hotel Class

Revenue per available room percentage

change, week ending March 7

Upper mid-tier

Upper upscale

Economy

Mid-tier

Upscale

Luxury

0

-8.2%

-8.6%

-9.7%

-12.4%

-13.9%

-15.2%

By Location

Revenue per available room percentage

change, week ending March 7

Suburban

Interstate

Resort

Urban

Town

0

-3.9%

-5.4%

-8.8%

-12.4%

-18.3%

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

Hotels most affected by COVID-19

Not all U.S. hotels have been affected in the same way. Larger upscale hotels, which tend to hold conventions, were severely hit. Hotels in big cities and resorts have also seen a larger drop.

By Hotel Class

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Upper

upscale

Upper

mid-tier

Luxury

Upscale

Mid-tier

Economy

0

-8.2%

-8.6%

-9.7%

-12.4%

-13.9%

-15.2%

By Location

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Small

metro/town

Urban

Resort

Suburban

Interstate

0

-3.9%

-5.4%

-8.8%

-12.4%

-18.3%

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

Hotels most affected by COVID-19

Not all U.S. hotels have been affected in the same way. Larger upscale hotels, which tend to hold conventions, were severely hit. Hotels in big cities and resorts have also seen a larger drop.

By Hotel Class

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Upper

upscale

Upper

mid-tier

Luxury

Upscale

Mid-tier

Economy

0

-8.2%

-8.6%

-9.7%

-12.4%

-13.9%

-15.2%

By Location

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Small

metro/town

Urban

Resort

Suburban

Interstate

0

-3.9%

-5.4%

-8.8%

-12.4%

-18.3%

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

Hotels most affected by COVID-19

Not all U.S. hotels have been affected in the same way. Larger upscale hotels, which tend to hold conventions, were severely hit. Hotels in big cities and resorts have also seen a larger drop.

By Hotel Class

By Location

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Revenue per available room percentage change, week ending March 7

Upper

upscale

Upper

midscale

Small

metro/town

Luxury

Upscale

Mid-tier

Economy

Urban

Resort

Suburban

Interstate

0

0

-3.9%

-5.4%

-8.2%

-8.6%

-8.8%

-9.7%

-12.4%

-12.4%

-13.9%

-15.2%

-18.3%

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

The $2 trillion stimulus package Congress passed on March 25 could stem some of the economic damage. (Just how hard will this pandemic hit the travel industry?)

But there is a glimmer of hope: China, the epicenter of the virus, is already seeing an uptick in domestic travel and hotel occupancy.

Hotel occupancy

in mainland China

After four weeks, signs of recovery

emerge for hotel occupancy in China.

69.6%

70%

60

50

40

The occupancy dropped by 89 percent in only two weeks

42.2%

30

20

14.0%

7.9%

10

0

Jan 1

Jan 14

Jan 31

March 1

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

Hotel occupancy in mainland China

After four weeks, signs of recovery emerge for hotel occupancy in China.

80%

69.6%

70

60

50

40

The occupancy dropped by 89 percent in only two weeks

42.2%

30

20

14.0%

7.9%

10

0

January 1

Jan 14

Jan 31

March 1

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

Hotel occupancy in mainland China

After four weeks, signs of recovery emerge for hotel occupancy in China.

80%

69.6%

70

60

50

40

The occupancy dropped by 89% in only two weeks

42.2%

30

20

14.0%

7.9%

10

0

January 1

Jan 14

Jan 31

March 1

MONICA SERRANO, NG STAFF. SOURCE: STR

A sign of things to come for the U.S.? Perhaps, though economists warn it may be a long time before the travel industry will see blue skies again.

Anne Kim-Dannibale is a senior editor on the travel desk at National Geographic. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.