The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecast a major increase in global international flights bookings as international travel takes off. News of the strong recovery highlights a promising prospect ahead for summer holiday travel, with sun and sea destinations, such as the Caribbean and Latin America, leading the international inbound bookings.
Julia Simpson, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “WTTC 2022 booking data from ForwardKeys is a firm signal of the strong recovery of the global Travel & Tourism sector. Travel to the Asia-Pacific region shows impressive signs of improvement as destinations gradually reopen their borders to visitors, in line with customer demand.”
Travellers are eager to spend more on travel following the loosening of restrictions, with heightened demand for premium cabin classes in 2022. Other trends seen include stronger last-minute bookings. Further evidence of the resurgence in travel is shown in arrivals in Europe, with a massive 350% surge in international arrivals for Q1 in 2022 compared to last year.
Asia-Pacific countries also saw an increase in arrivals for Q1 of this year compared to 2021, with bookings for the region up 275%. This acceleration is particularly notable in Asia where travel restrictions are being removed. Host to the WTTC Global Summit, the Philippines is the fastest growing single destination in South East Asia, 29% up in Q2 this year compared to Q1.
The summer travel outlook is led by the resurgence of travel to the Caribbean and Latin America, which includes seven out of the top 10 travel destinations. India and Pakistan are also highly popular, thanks to travel mainly for visits to family and friends.
Meanwhile in Europe, destinations such as Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and France are showing a strong resurgence with travel bookings just slightly behind pre-pandemic levels. Africa and the Middle East also feature in the top 20 list with Tanzania, Qatar and Egypt also reaching close to pre-pandemic levels of travel. The continued recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region looks set to accelerate as destinations gradually reopen throughout 2022.
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