WTTC forecasts flight booking surge

In what is good news for medical travel, with borders opening, air travel resuming and people preparing to travel abroad, research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its knowledge partner ForwardKeys, forecast a major increase in global international flight bookings.

Figures indicate triple-digit growth for inbound flight bookings around the world, compared to last year. Resurgent nations include Jamaica, Portugal and Greece.

News of the strong recovery highlights a promising prospect ahead for travel, with destinations such as the Caribbean and Latin America leading the international inbound bookings.

According to ForwardKeys, the countries leading the ranking of top 20 best-performing destinations for the summer are Costa Rica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, all of which rely heavily upon international travel. These destinations lead with bookings already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Asia has finally begun re-opening, which is driving the return of both travel to Asia and within the region, both of which are going to be instrumental in driving the global economic recovery.

According to the data, Q1 and Q2 figures for this year are showing triple-digit growth for inbound flight bookings around the world, compared to last year, including the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Travellers are eager to spend more on travel following the loosening of restrictions. Other trends seen include stronger last-minute bookings.

Evidence of the resurgence in travel is shown in arrivals in Europe, with a 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%. Q2 shows a further acceleration of the continuing recovery with a significant rise in international bookings, up 264% from the year before.

This acceleration is particularly notable in Asia where travel restrictions are being removed. The Philippines is the fastest-growing single destination in South East Asia, 29% up in Q2 this year compared to Q1.

The 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, due to travel for visits to family and friends.

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 with Tanzania, Qatar and Egypt reaching close to pre-pandemic levels of travel.

The continued recovery of the travel and tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region looks set to accelerate as destinations gradually reopen throughout 2022.