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UK tourism: Latest data shows outbound demand ahead of last year

Bookings for international departures from the UK over the next six months are ahead by 11.4 percent compared to last year, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys, the traveler intelligence ana

Bookings for international departures from the UK over the next six months are ahead by 11.4 percent compared to last year, according to the latest data from ForwardKeys, the traveler intelligence analyst.

The findings show significant increases for Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece, but France and Turkey are seeing fewer bookings because of safety concerns.

ForwardKeys analyses 16 million air reservations daily to support the travel sector. These newest figures also integrate charter booking data from GfK’s Leisure Travel Monitor.

The long haul destinations show an overall growth of 6.3 percent. Canada tops the list in terms of growth at more than 20 percent, followed by India at around 17 percent and the Caribbean at around 8 percent. The US, with a 21.6 percent market share, is growing at under 5 percent.

The short haul market is 14.6 percent ahead, year-on-year. Spain, which has a 47.8 percent market share, is ahead by around 24 percent. In terms of growth, Iceland has put on a massive 50 percent increase, although its market share stands at 2.3 percent.

The real significance is in the decreases – France down just under 15 percent and Turkey down 30 percent. Both countries have suffered significant terrorist attacks.

Taken alone, GfK’s Leisure Travel Monitor also shows passengers are returning to traditional and perceived safer destinations following the spate of terrorist attacks overseas.

Bookings are being made earlier as customers are keen to get the holiday of their choice. Analysis of bookings for the next six months of departure shows a 13 percent increase in passenger numbers.

In terms of destinations, maintaining the trend for the last two years, at a growth of 26 percent, Spain is continuing to benefit, accounting for just over two thirds of the incremental growth. Ocean cruise (+38 percent), Greece (+25 percent), Cyprus (+28 percent) and Portugal (+25 percent) are the top five destinations based on absolute passenger growth.

With a combined fall of just under 80,000 passengers compared to the previous year, Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia still bear the brunt of a decline caused by safety concerns.