Americas recovers 79% of pre-Covid traffic in 2022, says m1nd-set intel

By Faye Bartle |

Duty free shopping behaviour in the Americas

Specific planned purchases have risen since 2018. Source: m1nd-set.

The top five Americas international departing nationalities in 2022 was spearheaded by the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, with all but the last also ranking among the leading countries of embarkation, according to m1nd-set intelligence.

International departures traffic from the Americas more than doubled in 2022 year-on-year to reach 220 million passengers, a 79% share of 2019 traffic volumes, according to air traffic data supplied by the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Direct Data Solutions (DDS) available through m1nd- set’s Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S).

This was up from 104m international departures from the region in 2021, when the share of 2019’s traffic stood at 37%.

To put this into context, pre-Covid (2019) international departures stood at 279m for the region. The US (98m), Canada (25m) and Mexico (25m) ranked as the leaders within the top 20 countries for international departures, followed by (in descending order) Brazil (9m), Panama (9m) and the Dominican Republic (8m).

In 2023, the US is forecast to serve 118m passengers, followed by Canada at 30m and Mexico with 25.5m.

As in 2021, passengers from the US (101m) once again led the rankings of the Americas top 20 international departing nationalities in 2022, followed by Canada (21m), Mexico (17m), Colombia (9m), Brazil (8m) and Argentina (5m).

Americas international departures - Top 20 countries

The US, Canada and Mexico set the pace. Source: m1nd-set.

According to forecast data, the greatest real terms growth in international departing nationalities this year is tipped to come from the US at +15ppt (116m) and Canada with +4ppt (25m). Interestingly, flat growth in international departures in 2023 is estimated in half of the top 20 countries: Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, UK, Ecuador, Germany, Panama, Guatemala, Cuba and the Netherlands.

Ranking the top airport hubs by Americas international departure numbers in 2022, New York John F. Kennedy emerged at the summit with 13m passengers, followed by Toronto Pearson and Miami International (both 12m), Cancun International (9m) and Los Angeles International (8m).

Duty free shopping behaviour in the Americas

Specific planned purchases have risen since 2018. Source: m1nd-set.

Drawing on data from m1nd-set’s B1S tracking survey, Anna Marchesini, Head of Business Development, m1nd-set, says: “Taking a more granular look at duty free shopping behaviours and habits in the Americas, footfall into duty free shops has remained relatively stable in the five years through 2022.

“However, conversion levels have dipped during that time to arrive at 51% in 2022.”

Anna Marchesini, Head of Business Development, m1nd-set.

Anna Marchesini, Head of Business Development, m1nd-set speaking at the TR Consumer Forum 2022.

The m1nd-set B1S tracking survey has been ongoing since early 2016. The current sample includes more than 120,000 respondents covering the main regions, categories and sub- categories.

The survey adds that average spend per passenger has followed a similar path, falling by $52 from 2018 ($175) to reach $123 in 2022.

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