Source: ALTA

  • Passenger numbers in Latin America and the Caribbean show a solid and promising recovery as of July of this year

Tourism revival has been one of the keys to overcoming the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world. As the travel restrictions were lifted, we began to see a phenomenon of “revenge tourism” in which people no longer wanted to stay at home and resumed travel, pending visits to loved ones, and taking advantage of the ability to work remotely from anywhere.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the global revival process represented, by 2021, a total of 289.5 million jobs in the industry, of which 18.2 million were new jobs (6.7% growth vs. the previous year). In other words, the travel and tourism sector generated 1 out of every 11 jobs in 2021. WTTC projections  estimate that between 2022 and 2032, the industry will reach an average annual growth of 5.8%, more than double than the average yearly growth of the global economy (2.7%), and 126 million new jobs, of which Mexico ranks seventh globally with 2.3% of those jobs and 4.7% will be in Latin America.

“In 2020, ALTA developed an index of countries’ openness for air travel. Since then, we have been monitoring how the countries that most quickly lifted travel restrictions have greatly recovered and even grown against 2019 levels. Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic stand out, all with growth between 6% and 16%. In a region like Latin America and the Caribbean with islands, continental countries, intricate geographies, and fewer roads or alternative transportation such as trains, more than 70% of tourists travel by air,” says José Ricardo Botelho, executive director and CEO of ALTA.

The recovery rate in the number of air passengers in Latin America and the Caribbean (90.5%) continues to be the highest globally, surpassing consolidated markets such as Europe (78%) and North America (85%), demonstrating that the region maintains its pace of recovery and the need for air travel.

“We still have significant opportunities to boost the travel and tourism sector. While in the United States, the population makes an average of 2.5 air trips per trip, in our region, it is 0.6. For this reason, at ALTA, we continue to work with authorities and the industry to generate more competitive contexts that allow us to continue bringing this essential means of transportation to more people. By July 2022, air traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 90.5% compared to the same period in 2019. We are on track to resume the growth path,” adds Botelho.

ALTA is about to land in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to celebrate the 18th edition of the ALTA AGM & Airline Leaders Forum, the most important event for leaders and decision-makers from the aviation industry in the region. This year, 400 C-level executives of the industry will attend, where crucial discussions for aviation will be held to ensure a more efficient, safer, and, mainly, sustainable airline industry in the face of the challenges that this reactivation of tourism and travel represents. The main topics are sustainability and the industry’s transition to reach the Net Zero goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Therefore, the event’s agenda includes topics such as the production, implementation, and promotion of sustainable fuels for aviation or the efficiency of operational processes to mitigate environmental impact. The event will also focus on offsetting emissions, in line with ALTA’s commitment to the environment. For more information on participants, topics, and registration, please visit: