Vaccinate to revive

The latest research from ForwardKeys reveals that vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel.

Three origin markets, Israel, the US and the UK, where vaccination campaigns are particularly well advanced, have seen outbound flight bookings climb more steeply than elsewhere. Greece, whose economy is highly dependent on tourism, has led the way in announcing a willingness to welcome visitors who have been vaccinated, passed a COVID-19 test or recovered from the disease. That public position has been rewarded in flight bookings from major outbound markets such as the US and the UK. For example, it tops the list of most popular destinations for British travellers this summer; so much so that confirmed tickets for travel between July and September are currently 12 per cent ahead of where they were at the equivalent moment in 2019.

Furthermore, analysis of the most resilient destinations in Europe this summer reveals that seven of the top 10 cities are Greek, with the island of Mykonos leading the list, with summer bookings currently standing at 54.9 per cent of what they were at the equivalent point, pre-pandemic. It is followed by the Spanish island, Ibiza, where bookings are at 49.2 per cent. The next eight destinations in order of resilience are Chania (GR) 48.9per cent, Thira (GR) 48.1per cent, Kerkyra (GR) 47.5per cent, Thessaloniki (GR) 43.7per cent, Palma de Mallorca (ES) 41.2per cent, Heraklion (GR) 36.6per cent, Athens (GR) 33.2per cent and Faro (PT) 32.8per cent.

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, says, “Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel, as countries that make clear promises to welcome vaccinated travellers are being rewarded by strong surges in flight bookings. We are seeing a revival of confidence in outbound travel from countries where there has been a successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Furthermore, if restrictions are eased in both origin markets and destinations, there are grounds for further optimism because there is strong pent-up demand and, during the pandemic, people have shown themselves willing to make bookings at significantly shorter notice than they used to.”


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