Recent research by ForwardKeys reveals that vaccinations seem to be the key to reviving international travel. Two destinations, Greece and Iceland, which have already announced that they will welcome vaccinated visitors this summer, have seen incoming flight bookings increase dramatically since their announcements.
Three source markets, Israel, the US and the UK, where vaccination campaigns are doing very well, have also seen outbound bookings increase more rapidly than anywhere else.
Greece, whose economy is heavily dependent on tourism, has paved the way for announcing its willingness to welcome vaccinated visitors, pass the COVID-19 test or recover from illness.
This public position has been rewarded with flight bookings from major outbound tourism markets such as the US and the UK. For example, Greece is at the top of the list of most popular destinations for British travelers this summer – so much so that confirmed tickets for travel between July and September are currently + 12% ahead of those at the same time in 2019.
In addition, an analysis of the most “resilient” destinations in Europe this summer reveals that 7 of the top 10 cities are Greek, with the island of Mykonos leading the list, with summer bookings currently amounting to 54.9% of the corresponding point , before the pandemic.
It is followed by the Spanish island of Ibiza, where bookings amount to 49.2%. The next 8 destinations in order of resilience are Chania 48.9%, Santorini 48.1%, Corfu 47.5%, Thessaloniki 43.7%, Palma de Mallorca in Spain 41.2%, Heraklion 36 , 6%, Athens 33.2% and the Lighthouse in Portugal 32.8%.
The correlation between the announcements of relaxation of travel restrictions and reservations is also proved very strongly by the flight tickets issued by the USA to Iceland. On March 26, the government announced that all vaccinated travelers would be exempted from entry restrictions, and the level of tickets issued rose to 158% from the same week in 2019.
The correlation between vaccination rates and outbound travel is strong, as consumers thus gain confidence. Bookings to Europe from Israel, which has vaccinated over 60% of its population, are currently at 63% of 2019 levels and bookings from the United Kingdom, which has vaccinated over 52%, are at 32% of 2019 levels
Olivier Ponti , ForwardKeys VP Insights comments:“Vaccinations seem to be the ‘key’ to reviving international travel, as countries that make clear promises to welcome vaccinated travelers are rewarded by significant increases in flight bookings. We are seeing a resurgence of confidence in outbound travel from countries where COVID-19 vaccines have also been successfully available. From a commercial point of view, the prospects are likely to be slightly better than the numbers shown, because travelers book for longer periods of time. In addition, if restrictions are reduced on both source markets and destinations, there is reason for further optimism, as there is strong demand and, during the pandemic.
Tatiana Rokou – 07 May 2021, 13:21