AS THE World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) opens its 22nd Global Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a new global consumer survey has revealed that the appetite for international travel is now at its highest point since the start of the pandemic.

According to the survey of more than 26,000 consumers from 25 countries, conducted by YouGov for WTTC, 63 percent are planning a leisure trip in the next 12 months.

The survey reveals that the appetite to travel shows no signs of slowing, with more than a quarter (27 percent) of consumers planning three or more trips over the same period.

Additionally, the survey shows that travelers from Australia will be the world’s biggest spenders when it comes to international travel over the next 12 months, with jet setters from Canada, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines also expected to spend more than other travelers from around the globe.

According to the YouGov “global tracker,” the attractiveness and positive impression of Saudi Arabia as a destination continue to grow, with the highest scores across countries in the Gulf region, along with Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Thailand.

Julia Simpson, WTTC president and the chief operating officer, said: “This global survey shows that international travel is back. As we kick off our Global Summit in Riyadh bringing together global travel leaders and governments from around the world, travelers are getting ready to explore the world again.”

“The results of this global survey also show the growing importance of sustainable travel among consumers,” she said.

Almost two-thirds of those surveyed (61 percent) stated they prefer travel brands and destinations that are more sustainable, whilst almost half (45 percent) said they will only spend their hard-earned money with brands that are socially and environmentally responsible.

The WTTC 22nd Global Summit opened on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event is a gathering of stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry with an estimated 3,000 participants.

Under the theme “Travel for a Better Future,” the event will focus on the value of the sector, not only to the global economy, but to the planet and communities around the world. (KOC with PR)