Destinations which are opening to vaccinated travellers have seen a significant lift in bookings, showing that vaccinations may hold the key to reviving international travel, according to ForwardKeys’ latest data.

Greece and Iceland, which have announced that they will welcome vaccinated visitors this summer, have seen inbound flight bookings pick up dramatically.

Three origin markets, namely, Israel, the US and the UK, where vaccination campaigns are particularly well-advanced, have seen outbound flight bookings climb more steeply than elsewhere.

Greece has seen a surge in interest and flight bookings from major outbound markets such as the US and the UK. The country tops the list of most popular destinations for British travellers this summer, with confirmed tickets for travel between July and September currently 12 per cent ahead of where they were at the equivalent moment in 2019.

Furthermore, analysis of the most resilient destinations in Europe this summer revealed that seven of the top ten cities are Greek. Leading the list is the island of Mykonos, with summer bookings currently standing at 54.9 per cent of what they were at the equivalent point, pre-pandemic.

It is followed by the Spanish island, Ibiza, where bookings are at 49.2 per cent. The next eight destinations in order of resilience are Chania (48.9 per cent), Thira (48.1 per cent), Kerkyra (47.5 per cent), Thessaloniki (43.7 per cent), Palma de Mallorca (41.2 per cent), Heraklion (36.6 per cent), Athens (33.2 per cent) and Faro (32.8 per cent).

The correlation between the announcement of relaxed travel restrictions and bookings is also demonstrated by flight tickets issued from the US to Iceland.

On March 26, its government announced that all vaccinated travellers would be exempt from entry restrictions and the level of issued tickets soared to 158 per cent of what they were during the equivalent week in 2019.

The correlation between vaccination rates and outbound travel is strong, as consumers gain confidence. Bookings to Europe from Israel, which has vaccinated over 60 per cent of its population, are currently at 63 per cent of 2019 levels and bookings from the UK, which has vaccinated over 52 per cent, are at 32 per cent of 2019 levels.

Olivier Ponti, vice president insights, ForwardKeys, commented: “Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel, as countries that make clear promises to welcome vaccinated travellers are being rewarded by strong surges in flight bookings. We are seeing a revival of confidence in outbound travel from countries where there has been a successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines too.”

“From a commercial perspective, the outlook is likely to be a little better than the numbers portray because travellers are booking longer durations. Furthermore, if restrictions are eased in both origin markets and destinations, there are grounds for further optimism because there is strong pent-up demand and, during the pandemic, people have shown themselves willing to make bookings at significantly shorter notice than they used to.”

Source  : ttgasia