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Tourism recovery begins in Greece, Portugal and Spain

10th June 2020 :  ForwardKeys, the travel analytics company, has revealed that a series of announcements by governments of southern European countries, that they are eager to welcome tourists for the summer season, has triggered an almost immediate jump in international flight bookings for Greece, Portugal and Spain in July and August.

“For most of April and May, the aviation market has been in a state of suspended animation with almost nobody booking anything” said Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys. However, in the fourth week of May, things started to change. On 20th May, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s Prime Minister told the Greek people that the country would open its doors to foreign tourists from 1st July. Two days later, Portugal’s Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva announced that its border would reopen on 15th June; and the following day, Spain followed suit. Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s Prime Minister said that the country would reopen for foreign tourism from July.

Markets reacted immediately. From 20th May – 3rd June, the number of international flight tickets issued for Greece, increased from effectively zero to 35% of what they were during the same period in 2019. In the 12 days from 22nd May, – 3rd June, the number of international flight tickets issued for Portugal, increased from effectively zero to 35% of what they were during the same period in 2019 and in the 11 days from 23rd May – 3rd June, the uplift in Spain reached 30%.

A closer analysis by type of traveller reveals that there has been a very similar pattern of recovery in all destinations. Leisure travellers account for the bulk of new tickets; but recovery has been stronger amongst expats and people visiting friends and relatives. In that niche, air tickets to Greece, Portugal, and Spain, reached 89%, 87% and 54% of 2019 levels respectively.

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, said: “When governments tell people they are again allowed to travel, bookings immediately start to come back. However, given that there should be strong pent up demand for holidays in southern Europe in July and August, the relatively low booking levels, compared to 2019, suggest that many people are still reluctant to fly. With bookings for Greece, Portugal and Spain respectively 49.8%, 52% and 53.5% behind where they were at the beginning of June 2019, it will be challenging for any of those countries to rescue their summer holiday season.”

Please also find the link to the news story here.

About ForwardKeys

ForwardKeys helps its clients measure and improve the effectiveness of their marketing & operations; anticipate the impact of events; and capitalise on future trends. Its data scientists do so by analysing an unparalleled amount of air travel information to produce valuable insights into the profile, behaviour and impact of past, present and future travellers. Sources include airline capacity plus over 17m booking transactions and 7m flight searches per day. Customers are brands, retailers, duty-free specialists, financial institutions, media agencies and travel marketeers worldwide.