While some countries are recording positive signs for the upcoming summer travel, there are still some countries where booking levels are still quite low, especially countries in Asia – Pacific.
The latest research from ForwardKeys shows that international air travel demand this summer will be less than 25% of pre-pandemic levels (2019). The number of air tickets sold after June 1 to some international destinations like Africa and the Middle East is only 31% compared to 2019. With Americas, this rate is 38%, while Europe is 22% and Asia-Pacific is only 7%.
In addition, in terms of booking rate, ForwardKeys also reported that for Asia-Pacific countries, with many strict response measures being enacted, international travel demand is unlikely to increase. For example, China, Thailand and Australia have only 2%, 2% and 10% booking rates this summer. The host country of this year’s Olympics, Japan, also recorded only 4% of bookings for the summer when the country was determined not to welcome foreign spectators to ensure safety.
Currently, destinations in the Americas and Europe have taken the first steps to restore tourism thanks to vaccination programs and vaccine passport schemes. One of the promising summer travel markets is the Caribbean with a booking rate of up to 81%. Greece, Serbia, Iceland and Malta are currently recording relative bookings of 49%, 38%, 35% and 35% respectively as these are mostly countries with an open policy for vaccinated travelers.
Other countries with high summer bookings include Mexico (86%), the Dominican Republic (83%), and the Bahamas (81%). Notably, Aruba and Puerto Rico also recorded bookings exceeding 2019 levels, reaching 108% and 140% respectively.
ForwardKeys also said that some West African countries also recorded a relatively good increase in summer bookings such as Ghana (73%), Nigeria (73%) or Senegal (77%). However, most of these are for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives.
Olivier Ponti, vice president, insights, ForwardKeys, commented: “Travel businesses in general, and airlines in particular, will face more substantial losses, as many countries combat Covid-19 by closing their borders and imposing severe restrictions on flying internationally. However, certain destinations, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, which are highly dependent on tourism, are taking an alternative approach. By requiring vaccination and/or proof of negative Covid-19 tests, they are showing the world that it is possible to have a summer season.”