Bookings for international departures from the UK over the next six months are ahead by 11.4 per cent compared to last year, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys, the traveller intelligence analyst. The findings show significant increases for Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece, but France and Turkey are seeing fewer bookings because of safety concerns.
ForwardKeys analyses 16 million air reservations daily to support the travel sector. These newest figures also integrate charter booking data from GfK’s Leisure Travel Monitor.
The table of long haul destinations shows an overall growth of 6.3 per cent. Canada tops the list in terms of growth at more than 20 per cent, followed by India at around 17 per cent and the Caribbean at around 8 per cent. The US, with a 21.6 per cent market share, is growing at under 5 per cent.
The short haul market is 14.6 per cent ahead, year-on-year. Spain, which has a 47.8 per cent market share, is ahead by around 24 per cent. In terms of growth, Iceland has put on a massive 50 per cent increase, although its market share stands at 2.3 per cent. The real significance is in the decreases – France down just under 15 per cent and Turkey down 30 per cent. Both countries have suffered significant terrorist attacks.
Taken alone, GfK's Leisure Travel Monitor also shows passengers are returning to traditional and perceived safer destinations following the spate of terrorist attacks overseas. Bookings are being made earlier as customers are keen to get the holiday of their choice. Analysis of bookings for the next six months of departure shows a 13 per cent increase in passenger numbers.
In terms of destinations, maintaining the trend for the last two years, at a growth of 26 per cent, Spain is continuing to benefit, accounting for just over two thirds of the incremental growth. Ocean cruise (+38 per cent), Greece (+25 per cent), Cyprus (+28 per cent) and Portugal (+25 per cent) are the top five destinations based on absolute passenger growth.
With a combined fall of just under 80,000 passengers compared to the previous year, Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia still bear the brunt of a decline caused by safety concerns.
GfK's Leisure Travel Monitor, a point of sale service covering 14 million annual outbound holiday and leisure passengers from the UK. Data is collated on a weekly basis from a combination of tour operator and travel agent sales.
ForwardKeys predicts future travel patterns by crunching and analysing 16m booking transactions a day. It is used by travel marketers, retailers, hotels, destination marketing organisations (DMOs), financial institutions, car rental companies, tour operators, online travel agents (OTAs), and other traveller-focussed businesses worldwide to monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals and stay ahead of the trends from a particular origin market at a specific time. The analysis enables them to anticipate the impact of events, better manage their staffing levels, fine tune supply requirements, adjust and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and predict future market trends. ForwardKeys’ data is retrieved daily from all the major global reservation systems worldwide.