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What were the travel trends this summer? Ubigi’s annual barometer of travellers’ mobile data consumption.

IFTM Top Resa 2022

What were the favourite destinations of travellers this year? Where did the foreign tourists come from? On the occasion of the Top Resa 2022 show, Ubigi, an international mobile operator, publishes the 2nd edition of its barometer[1] allocated to the study of mobile data consumption by its users, to identify the major trends in the tourist market for the summer 2022.

Ubigi markets eSIM prepaid data plans for more than 190 destinations. The eSIM (or virtual SIM card) meets the mobile internet needs of today’s travellers. It has been present in most mobile devices since 2018 and offers a practical solution without the disadvantages of roaming (high costs), unsecured public Wi-Fi networks (risk of hacking) and local SIM (constraining and doomed to disappear – evidenced by the launch on September 7 of the new iPhone 14 equipped exclusively with the eSIM in the United States).

Global travel trends

July/August 2022 data

  • The United States remains the main market for the travel industry: American travellers often represent the largest proportion of foreign tourists in top destinations (benefiting from a strong dollar against the euro).
  • France remains the favorite destination for tourists: 17% of Ubigi mobile data traffic, all countries combined, was generated in France over the period.
  • Japanese, Italian, Canadian and Australian tourists are back, and their numbers are increasing year by year.
  • A gradual return to travel to Asia is beginning. With Japan in the front line: mobile data traffic there has increased sixfold between 2021 and 2022, despite restrictions still in place.
  • Domestic travel remains predominant in many countries: France, United States, Italy, etc.
  • The average global mobile data consumption per user increased by 19% between summer 2021 and summer 2022, reaching 3.8 GB[2] per user.

Key figures for France

July/August 2022 data

Data consumption of eSIM plans taken out by French Ubigi subscribers:

● 63% of mobile data was used on national territory.

● 7% in the United States.

● 5% in Japan.

● 5.1GB of average data consumption per French user (vs. 3.8GB of average consumption per user on an international scale).

Data consumption by foreign tourists in France, 1st tourist destination:

● 29% of Ubigi data consumption in France was made by North Americans (United States and Canada) and 8% was made by Japanese.

  1. 1. The growth of Ubigi mobile data traffic confirms the recovery of international travel

The overall consumption of mobile internet by users of Ubigi data plans tripled during the summer of 2022 compared to the summer of 2021.

This trend reflects a strong development of international tourism with the global lifting of restrictions due to Covid, the gradual generalization of the eSIM in mobile devices, and the increasingly essential use of mobile Internet for travellers.

2.  France remains the favourite destination for international tourists

The volume of data consumed in France has been multiplied by 5 compared to 2021, which places it at the very top of the podium, with 17% of Ubigi’s total traffic generated between July and August, thus confirming France’s place in the world tourism. 29% of foreign tourists in France this summer were either Americans or Canadians, ahead of the Japanese (8%), the Swiss (7%) and the British (4%).

3. New countries among travellers’ favourite destinations

By quadrupling the amount of mobile data consumed on its territory in July and August 2022 compared to the same period last year, Switzerland is positioned much higher in the ranking than in 2021. It now represents 12% of Ubigi’s total traffic and occupies the 2nd position in terms of data consumption, ahead of the United Kingdom (9%) and Italy (9%). These two destinations had been less popular in 2021 due to Covid 19 restrictions.

While the United States continues to be an attractive destination (7%), Japan is back in the Top 10 of the most popular destinations despite the restrictions still in place. International tourists who have visited Japan are Americans (23% of total mobile data consumption in Japan), followed by the British (9%), French (6%), Canadians and Singaporeans (4%).

Where did the travellers go during the summer of 2022? Tourists’ favourite travel destinations.

4. Where do international travellers come from?

First consumers of mobile data (of which 76% used abroad), Americans mainly choose Europe (49%) and particularly France (14%), the United Kingdom (10%) and Italy (9%). We also observe that American tourists almost always represent the largest proportion of foreign tourists who have visited a country.

In addition, the Japanese have also consumed their mobile data plans for the most part abroad. This marks the return of Japanese travellers to world tourism after two years of decline due to health restrictions. More precisely, 45% of the total consumption of mobile data by the Japanese was carried out in Europe: 12% in France, 9% in Italy, 7% in the United Kingdom, 5% in Switzerland and Germany in particular.

On the other hand, the mobile data consumption of the Emiratis is in very sharp decline, as well as that of the Russians (international geopolitical context) compared to last summer.

Who has consumed mobile data and in which country?

[1] Study of data consumption carried out on 30,000 Ubigi users in July and August 2022, depending on their country of origin and the location of their mobile data consumption.

[2] Gigabyte

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