A recent study has shown that flight reservations from the United Kingdom to popular summer destinations such as Turkey and Greece have increased by more than 50%. When comparing pre-pandemic numbers to post-pandemic levels, data compiled by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Forward Keys revealed a 53 percent increase in airline reservations to Turkey and a 51 percent increase in flight bookings to Greece.
Spain, which continues to be the most popular destination for British tourists, is also functioning well and is performing above of pre-pandemic levels at 1 percent, according to the data.
Furthermore, as families seek to reunite with loved ones in nations such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, airline reservations to those countries have increased by 36 percent, 28 percent, and 26 percent correspondingly when compared with 2019 levels.
However, according to the report, reservations to the United States, which was the fifth most popular destination for British tourists in 2019, are still 10 percent fewer than they were prior to the epidemic.
The World Tourism and Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that the statistics also indicated a more gloomy picture for inbound travel. As of January, inbound reservations for foreign arrivals have increased by 1,453 percent compared to 2021 (when harsh travel restrictions were in place), but they are still significantly below pre-pandemic levels – down 45 percent from the previous year.
“The large disparity between outgoing and incoming foreign airline reservations in the United Kingdom is a concerning indicator for the recovering travel and tourism industry and the UK economy,” said Julia Simpson, president and chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council.
In an optimistic sign as the influenza epidemic recedes and international travel resumes, vacationers are making the most of their newly acquired freedom to travel securely. However, if we are unable to persuade foreign travelers that the United Kingdom is open for business to travellers and tourists, it is not a positive indication for the UK as a whole. “The United Kingdom is losing market share to other locations that is critical.”
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2021 Economic Import Report, the United States was the most important source market for inbound international travelers from the United Kingdom. However, the most recent data revealed that flight bookings this year are still nearly a quarter (24 percent) below 2019 levels.
Several other important source countries for the United Kingdom, including Ireland, Germany, and Spain, are all experiencing bad performance, with inbound travel down 19 percent, 37%, and 38% in the last quarter of 2018. Only Sweden has improved its position relative to pre-pandemic levels (up 15 percent ).