International tourism and COVID-21: What were the favorite destinations for summer 2021?

Presentation of the results of a study conducted by Ubigi through the analysis of international mobile data consumption.

After two consecutive years marked by the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on tourism, Ubigi, provider of cellular connectivity in more than 180 countries, unveils global tourism trends during last summer. This international study is based on the analysis of the consumption of Ubigi’s eSIM mobile data plans by a sample of 10,000 users, between July and August 2021, according to their country of residence.

Overall, Ubigi has observed a very significant upturn in data consumption during the summer, as travel restrictions were lifted in many countries. The volume of sales of Ubigi’s eSIM data plans has doubled in July and August 2021 compared to May and June 2021, and it tripled (+ 246%) compared to the same period in 2020.

Depending on the country, Ubigi observes, however, that data consumption has not been the same. What were the favorite summer destinations and why? Which nationality traveled the most?

Ubigi, a key player in international mobility, shares the main results of its study.

Key learnings from the Ubigi study

July / August 2021 data

Travel is resuming

  • +246% of Ubigi eSIM data plans sold in July / August 2021, compared to last year, over the same period, confirming signs of recovery for international mobility.

Europe, the top destination of the summer!

  • 8/10 of the top tourist destinations this summer were in Europe, according to Ubigi’s collected data.

1st largest destination in data consumption: France

  • France retains its position as the world’s leading tourist destination with 20% of Ubigi’s global data consumption over the period in the country, and a 226% increase in sales of data plans, for this country, to foreigners[1]

2nd largest destination in data consumption: Spain

  • Like France, Spain is benefiting from the recovery in tourism: 12% of the global data consumption in July and August 2021 is made in this country.

3rd largest destination in data consumption: the United States

  • 9% of Ubigi’s total data consumption over the period was achieved in this country (48% by Americans)

4th largest destination in data consumption: Switzerland

  • Switzerland has also welcomed many foreign travelers, probably benefiting from a reassuring and safer image, in this context of the health crisis

5th largest destination in data consumption: Italy

  • After a relatively late opening for tourism, Italy went from the 8th destination in terms of data traffic volume in June to the 5th in August.

Other major trends and travelers profiles according to their country of origin

United States: top summer 2021 travelers in volume, according to Ubigi’s collected data

  • 73% of mobile data consumption by Americans was made outside of their country (France, Spain, Greece, Great Britain, etc.), making the United States one of the most mature markets in the adoption of eSIM and its travel benefits

Russia and the United Arab Emirates, two international-oriented markets

  • Both confirm their appetite for foreign destinations (sunny for Russians and temperate climate for Emiratis): 100% of Ubigi data consumed by Russians and Emiratis have been used abroad

The British did not travel much

  • 41% of the data consumed by the British was carried out in Great Britain. They also did not welcome many travelers, due to strict entry restrictions maintained until August 2021.

The Japanese did not travel either

  • Japanese travelers were also very few. However, Ubigi notes a slight increase in traffic in Japan in July, linked to the Olympic Games (for example: French and English have taken Ubigi subscriptions for Japan)

The French and the Spaniards mostly stayed in their country this summer

  • 73% of the Ubigi data consumed by the Spaniards was in Spain
  • 58% of the Ubigi data consumed by the French was on national territory

The two countries turn out to be with mainly a local use of their eSIM data plan.

Ubigi eSIM, the perfect travel companion!

  • In view of the increase in the use of data plans this summer, Ubigi notes a real adoption of the eSIM, both for international and local use.

What is the eSIM?

The eSIM (or virtual SIM) is a new feature built into many models of recent smartphones, tablets, and computers. It allows you to activate a mobile data plan instantly, without having to use a physical SIM card.

Its users can combine multiple eSIM profiles from different operators and easily switch between them in the device settings. Travelers can therefore keep their physical SIM card (with their usual phone number) to make phone calls, and at the same time, use an eSIM data plan to connect to the Internet locally. With the data plans offered by Ubigi, significant savings can be made when traveling abroad, thanks to all the international agreements signed by the brand in more than 180 countries and destinations. Ubigi’s subscribers thus benefit from prepaid data plans at nearly local rates, with no surprises in terms of roaming charges

About Ubigi

Ubigi is Transatel’s brand dedicated to consumers of mobile services in the Internet of Things. Ubigi offers its customers to stay “always connected” thanks to prepaid mobile data plans at almost local rates in more than 180 destinations around the world. The service is available on eSIM compatible smartphones, PCs, tablets as well as connected cars from partner manufacturers. To learn more about Ubigi, please visit: www.ubigi.com

About Transatel

Subsidiary of the NTT group – world leader in global technology services – Transatel is one of the main aggregators of virtual mobile telephony operators in Europe, with more than 200 MVNOs launched over the past 20 years, 80 of which are active today. A pioneer in machine-to-machine communication, Transatel also offers a global cellular connectivity solution dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) for the industrial and service sectors (automotive, aeronautics, logistics, energy, agriculture, health, commerce…). Transatel SIM and eSIM cards now connect millions of mobile devices, vehicles, robots and even airplanes around the world. To learn more about Transatel, please visit: https://www.transatel.com/.


[1] Source : OMT

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