During the peak summer months, Spain was one of the destinations in the world to see its domestic tourism sector get close to pre-pandemic levels with the most resilient destinations for both local and international tourists being the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. Tickets confirmed in September for any future travel versus the same period in 2019 show the Canary Islands as the most desired destination for locals and internationals yet again.
As the team of data scientists and analysts at ForwardKeys keep a vigilant eye on travel recovery around the world, an unexpected twist keeps on appearing: the creation of quarantine travel hubs. We don’t wish to call it a trend, rather, it’s more of an example of the lengths people are willing to take to get to certain long-haul destinations – even with tricky travel restrictions in place. And it has continued to play a role in travel and tourism since the onslaught of the pandemic.
Unlike the bumpy Singapore and Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) that was scrapped after two postponements, the newly launched Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Germany has been distinctively smooth. For travel-starved residents in Singapore who have been kept at home by the pandemic since March last year, the pilot scheme’s significance lies in Germany being the first quarantine-free, long-haul destination for the fully vaccinated.
One of the main objectives of airline carriers is to optimize revenue, which they accomplish by deciding on what flights to operate, when and with what aircrafts depending on demand. Airline capacity is used by many tourism businesses as a proxy for the number of travellers that will be in a destination. It seems like a safe number to work with, as airline schedules are considered to be quite static. However, that time is long gone, the global trend of using big data for more exact planning and forecasts have been picked up by the airlines, which means that they do regularly change flights.
ForwardKeys’ and Dragon Trail International’s recent findings reveal that the Chinese travel market is not only super resilient but desperate for revenge travel, even if it is only within China! Dragon Trail International’s fourth Chinese Traveller Sentiment Survey found that more Chinese are resuming pre-pandemic travel behaviours, despite the persistent concern for safety. 43% of survey respondents said they would “travel cautiously,” up from 31% in Dragon Trail’s March 2021 survey.
The travel experts at ForwardKeys were recently invited to present at the Adria Forum in Zagreb to shed additional light on the development of tourism in the Balkan region by highlighting the important role flight connectivity has in international and domestic arrivals. And the results are interesting as it reveals the savvy business approach of Croatia over the summer as well as reinforcing the future value of Tirana and Podgorica as important airport hubs into the region.
When examining the latest Air Ticketing Data for industry partner CAPA, a clear observation is that travel recovery is performing at a different pace from country to country – even if you are in the same region! “Withstanding where you are in the world, you are a winning destination showing resilience if you are smartly promoting sun and sea leisure destinations; remained open throughout the pandemic or wisely made announcements in advance of key tourism periods; kept your travel restrictions consistent and easy to follow
New research from ForwardKeys reveals that international flights to European destinations in July and August reached 39.9% of pre-pandemic levels. This is significantly better than last year (which was 26.6%) when the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread lockdowns, and vaccines were not yet approved. However, the picture was very mixed, with some destinations doing considerably better than others. The outlook is also not improving, as bookings slowed towards the end of the summer period.
ForwardKeys reveals that summer in Spain was exactly how it was predicted to be – international arrivals into Spain in July-August were half of 2019 levels. Spain managed to recover half of the volume of pre-pandemic internationals, down by 49.4% in 2019. On the flip side, domestic tourism was almost at pre-pandemic levels, covering for the loss of international visitors and three Spanish cities made it into the top 10 most resilient European cities list: Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, and Malaga.
The start of the 2021-2022 academic year is coming soon. ForwardKeys and Dragon Trail International look at the strong correlation between Chinese flight booking trends and travel restrictions for students, alongside student-focused promotions from international airlines. With outbound tourism from China still on hold, international airlines have turned their attention to one group of Chinese who will be travelling overseas in the upcoming months: students.
Working with travel data, the team members at ForwardKeys are well acquainted with the speed of change and immediate shifts in flight bookings based on sudden government announcements or unexpected spikes in Covid19 cases or strains. We understand that it can be incredibly frustrating and maddening when you are a tourism board trying to entice travellers, a hotel that has struggled with its occupancy rate for over a year, an airline trying to plan its next round of routes or even a desperate traveller in need of a holiday.
The team of analysts and insights experts at ForwardKeys can reveal an exciting revelation – things are looking rosier for the travel industry in Central America and the Caribbean, especially when looking at the future bookings for July to September. International arrivals are down by just 25% in Q3 of 2021 while in Mexico it is only down by 6% compared to the same period in 2019.
In the battle to be the pre-eminent travel hub in the Middle East, the latest research from ForwardKeys, which has the world’s freshest and most comprehensive flight booking data, reveals that in the first half of 2021, Doha seized and consolidated a lead over Dubai airport. From 1st January to 30th June, the volume of air tickets issued for travel via Doha was 18% higher than it was through Dubai; that relationship looks set to continue. Current bookings for the second half of the year through Doha are 17% higher than through Dubai.
A joint analysis of the latest air ticketing data by data firm ForwardKeys and Emprotur, Empresa Potiguar de Promotion Turística, shine some positive light on domestic tourism in Brazil, particularly to the star of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, as the city demonstrates resilience and demand. The overall performance of the Brazilian domestic market in June reached 108% of the 2019 demand, encouraging considering the current climate.
Mexico is primed to be a top holiday destination from July to September, according to the latest air ticketing analysis by travel analytics firm, ForwardKeys. But the big news is that it is managing to welcome more international visitors beyond the USA – Ecuadorean and European travellers play a vital role in its reactivation this summer. Tourism is an important economic sector in Mexico, and the country plays a prominent role in tourism globally. In 2020, Mexico welcomed 23.3 million international tourists, around half of the inbound tourism volume recorded a year earlier.
In 2019, the tourism industry accounted for over 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP). Last year, it accounted for just 5.5%, many are wondering how it is positioned this summer. The team of analysts at ForwardKeys examined the latest air ticketing data to Spain this summer for international and domestic travel to uncover a few gems. While the international market is recuperating and growing to 50% of traveller volumes of 2019 July figures, it’s domestic travel pulling up the tourism sector during the pandemic
The latest research from ForwardKeys, which has the most up-to-date and comprehensive flight booking data available, reveals that the outlook for international air travel this summer (1st June – 31st August) is set to be just under a quarter (-23%) of pre-pandemic levels.As of 1st June, flight tickets issued for international arrivals in Africa & the Middle East were just 31% of their equivalent moment in 2019.
ForwardKeys has long encouraged governments and tourism organisations to announce their border re-openings as far in advance as possible. We observed that this greatly benefited destinations such as Greece and Portugal for the 2020 summer season and there appears to be a case of _Deja Vu_ for Greece, but now we have newcomers to the early announcement club: Iceland and Croatia. Welcoming vaccinated travellers is not only a trend but a fast-growing reality.
The latest research from ForwardKeys reveals that vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel. Two destinations, Greece, and Iceland, which have announced that they will welcome vaccinated visitors this summer have seen inbound flight bookings pick up dramatically from the moment of their announcements.
Let’s begin today’s analysis and revelation with an encouraging quote from John F Kennedy: “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters — one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” Now that the tone has been set, we can reveal how some destinations are attracting longer stays as the prolonged pandemic discourages people from returning home to work from their gloomy homes. Why would you when sparkling Belize and the Canary Islands are on offer?