What’s on your bucket list for 2021?

Growth in global air travel demand continues to slow, sliding from 7.8% year over year in 2018 to 4.5% by October 2019

During the first ten months of 2019, traffic increased by 4.6%, down from 6.8% the year before.

The performance of the global economy has been key to this trend, and it’s likely that growth will moderate further this year.

In Israel demand  will still be strong enough to allow more airlines to increase their flights and more cities to receive nonstop flights. El Al alone in 2020 will commence nonstop flights to both Chicago & Tokyo. American Airlines returns to the Friendly Skies over Israel with her nonstop flight from Dallas beginning next September.

This will result in average fares remaining stable even with the increase of higher fuel and labor costs.

The collapse of carriers like Air Berlin, Flybmi, Jet Airways and Wow Air has encouraged some airlines to pursue higher yields. But, as capacity continues to expand, it will limit fare increases—with some exceptions. In China and India, strong demand, changes in competition and regulatory developments mean travelers face rapidly rising fares.

Globally, I expect average ticket prices to rise by a meager 1% in 2020. That applies to Trans Atlantic as well as Europe and Asian  travel in both business and economy class. The rise in the Premium class, now embraced by El Al, United Airlines, Air Canada and most of the European carriers created a golden opportunity for said airline to create a new product and market it as they desired. It’s success has proven to surprise the industry and should continue to increase market share in 2020

        Hotel rates both inside Israel and throughout the world will see minor increases of between 1-3%. In fact Israel with the abundance of new five star and boutique hotels opening up have shown that these new properties can both price and actualize a premium. While Airbnb is lamented everywhere, it has had zero effect on the hotel industry in both Jerusalem & Tel Aviv.

        The larger growth for 2020 will be in the organized groups. Both experienced an novice travelers are finding the benefits of a personalized group to be enticing. Their growth stems as they are great for those who don’t have the time, or the interest, in planning every detail of a trip. Signing up for an organized tour is an excellent way to meet and travel with people who have similar interests. These custom made groups will continue to see a large growth in actual numbers in 2020

        The one caveat in the forecasts are the Geopolitical situation. Populist and often right-wing politicians are being elected around the world. Intent on challenging established practices, this new breed of national leader may disrupt the diplomatic traditions that helped defuse international disputes and support the status quo for decades.

        Terrorism remains a dynamic global risk, posing a serious threat to everyone. Using it to justify investment in travel risk management may overplay its significance as a genuine threat to travelers. The disruption of organized Al Qaeda and the Islamic State means seemingly random attacks by individuals have become the most likely threat in developed countries.

        Bottom line is 2020 should see a steady increase in both air & cruise travel as disposable income among most consumers continues to rise. The question I ask each of you- What’s on your bucket list for 2020?