Internet Travel Monitor - Marketing, Research & Tech

April 26, 2017

Booking Data Shows Resilience of Travel Industry
Despite recent terrorist attacks, passengers from Europe, the Americas and the Far East are making more bookings and taking more flights, according to ForwardKeys.

The firm, which which predicts future patterns by analysing 16 million booking transactions a day, said the data shows the resilience of the global travel industry.

"People are finding alternative new destinations, and they are returning to others, previously blighted by dreadful events," said CEO Olivier Jager.

"However, in a world of shifting travel patterns, businesses that depend on travellers need to be able to readjust ever more quickly."

The ForwardKeys data showed the US suffered a drop in visitors in the first quarter of this year, which it blamed on uncertainty due to Donald Trump's travel ban and the stronger value of the dollar.

Both may have discouraged Middle Eastern (down 9.5%) and European travellers (down 6.5%), it said.

But forward bookings to the US have since picked up, mainly due to the late Easter.

Long-haul arrivals in Western Europe are on the increase, showing the region's resilience in the face of last year's terror attacks.

"It has taken over a year to recover, but long-haul arrivals are starting to surge again, reaching visitor numbers higher than those seen before the Paris attack in November 2015," said the ForwardKeys report.

Meanwhile in Asia, China's influence on travel patterns is demonstrated by the impact on visitor numbers to South Korea following Beijing's anger at the stationing of US THAAD missiles there.

ForwardKeys' data shows international arrivals in South Korea, for stays of four to eight nights, fell 10% in the first quarter of this year due to cancellations by Chinese tour groups in March. Forward bookings for the same category are currently lagging 28%.

The findings are being presented at the World Travel and Tourism Council's Global Summit in Bangkok this week.

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