Mastercard reports: Data drives COVID-19 recovery for Asia Pacific businesses and global travel bounces back with a more local focus

September 2, 2020 | SINGAPORE | By Barkha Patel

Deep data insights are driving COVID-19 recovery strategies across all industries, including the travel and entertainment sectors where promising signs of improvement are starting to emerge, according to two reports by Mastercard that analyze how companies and consumers are weathering the pandemic and preparing for the future.

Sailing Against the Wind features case studies on six sectors in Asia Pacific – restaurants, finance, mass retail, health & beauty, travel and government – that highlight effective tactics to harness the power of analytics, including performance clustering, phased benchmarking and consumer segmentation. The specific examples also connect to broader themes for each industry on how to use the right data, tools and expertise to understand the impact of a crisis and drive response strategies.

“Businesses in Asia Pacific have been dealing with the pandemic longer than anywhere else. In the midst of continued uncertainty in the operating environment and the ongoing change in consumer sentiment and behavior, businesses need a compass to chart their path to growth and many are finding that clarity through data-driven insights,” said Donald Ong, Senior Vice President, Mastercard Advisors, Asia Pacific.

“Combined with analytics expertise, agile strategic planning, a relentless focus on the changing consumer and a sharp pivot to digital, these businesses are clearly accelerating their pace of recovery.”

Travel picks up closer to home

As restrictions on movement start to ease and economies begin showing signs of improvement, Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In identifies key trends in the Group of 20 nations that reflect broader consumer spending patterns – in particular the shift to a smaller retail radius as people travel and spend closer to home.

The analysis of anonymized and aggregated transaction activity across the Mastercard network shows Italy, Russia and France are leading the recovery in travel and entertainment spending, largely as a result of the opening of European corridors. In many Asia Pacific markets, the recovery depends more on domestic sentiment than on regional travel arrangements.

Trends highlighted in Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In include:

    • Localism Takes Off: Consumers are getting out and spending but maintaining a tighter footprint with a “home-centered retail radius”.
    • Boutique is Chic: Travelers are increasingly opting to stay small – with a rise in spending at boutique hotels. Recently, the global recovery rate of small independent hotels has outpaced the recovery of large hotels by more than 50%.
    • Consumer Travel Leads the Recovery: An analysis of consumer cards compared to business cards shows that spending on consumer air travel and auto rentals is returning ahead of commercial travel.

Mastercard has been committed to helping retailers, restaurants, consumer brands and many others navigate the challenges of the pandemic – and now the recovery. This has included making insight-driven tools available to governments and small businesses to give a timely snapshot of economic performance. Being able to make informed decisions is critical to the long-term success of companies and communities around the world.

Barkha Patel, Vice President, Communications, International Markets (IMK), Mastercard

Media Contacts

John O’Callaghan, Mastercard
Dominique Sim, Agency (Golin)
+65 9652 2560 |