The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed the statistics of the rapid increase in world flight bookings at the 21st Global Summit held recently. Compared to last year, international inbound flight bookings in the Americas, Europe, and Asia have all doubled, while the Caribbean and Latin America are hot summer tourist hotspots. The global tourism industry is recovering strongly.
Manila, PH (Merxwire) – After large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 in countries around the world, most of them began to adopt a strategy of coexisting with the virus, gradually opening domestic and border restrictions. WTTC and its knowledge partner, market research firm ForwardKeys, predict that the international travel market will recover strongly in 2022, with a significant increase in global international flight bookings. At the 21st Global Summit held in Manila recently, the figures and rebound trends of the current world flight bookings were announced. According to the current status of international flight bookings, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Americas are the main tourist destinations for everyone to prepare for the hot summer.
Figures show a bright future for international travel in the summer, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America where have the sun and sea are the most popular and the most booked areas for foreign tourists. Among the top 10 regions with the largest number of overseas bookings for summer tourism, these two regions have arranged 7 of them. According to statistics from ForwardKeys, a well-known travel analytics company in the industry, the top 3 summer travel bookings are Costa Rica, Aruba, and the Dominican Republic, with bookings exceeding pre-pandemic averages. These top summer tourist destinations are quite dependent on international tourism revenue. With the opening of the border, it will have a very positive impact on their economy and people’s livelihood, saving more than two years of economic downturn. In addition, booking numbers in India and Pakistan are also quite good, mainly due to the large number of people returning home to visit relatives.
Top-ranked Costa Rica is located in Central America, which means Rich Coast in Spanish. The rich natural resources are breathtaking and attract tens of millions of tourists to the pilgrimage every year. The second place is Aruba, located in the southern Caribbean Sea, with picturesque scenery and a warm sunny climate all year round, known as the perfect weather. Beautiful white sand beaches and friendly residents make it one of the best vacation spots in the Caribbean. Arikok National Park is also well known in the area, where you can observe different wildlife and rich rock formations.
The Dominican Republic ranked third and is the second-largest country in the Caribbean. The climate is mainly tropical with mountainous terrain. The country’s pleasant climate, clear waters, sandy beaches, spectacular mountains, and rich history and culture are the main reasons for tourists to visit. The capital, Santo Domingo, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990, and the 15th-century buildings in the city are still intact. Beautiful cobblestone streets, historic restaurants, and a European-African ‘merengue’ music and dance culture are all talked about. There are more than 7,000 beautiful islands in the Caribbean region, each with its own unique culture, no wonder it has become a popular tourist attraction in summer.
Global tourism has been on the rise since the second half of last year, but in November, the Omicron mutant virus broke out around the world, and the number of confirmed cases increased rapidly, which slowed down the speed of tourism recovery, and began to rise again this year. The number of bookings for the first and second quarters was quite impressive and was seen by Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO, as a firm signal of a strong recovery in the global travel industry.
In the first and second quarters of this year, international travel bookings have doubled compared to last year, with global inbound flight bookings in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Judging from the figures for the first quarter, the number of foreign arrivals from Europe has increased by 350% compared with last year, and the Asia-Pacific region has increased by 275% compared with the same period in 2021. It can be seen that global tourism is indeed on a growth trend. Compared with 2021, overseas bookings in the second quarter soared by 264%, especially in Asian countries that have just lifted the travel ban.
The Philippines, the host country of this WTTC Global Summit, is the country with the fastest increase in overseas tourists in Southeast Asia, and the number in the second quarter of 2022 has increased by nearly 30% compared with the first quarter. As travel restrictions are loosened, travel enthusiasts have also increased their budgets for overseas travel and are willing to spend more money on travel. Therefore, it is found from the 2022 booking figures that the demand for premium cabins has increased significantly.
From the end of 2021 to the beginning of this year, the Omicron mutated virus has caused a lot of impact in Hong Kong, China, South Korea, and other places in Asia, and the number of confirmed cases has continued to rise, so most countries in Asia still adopt a border blockade strategy. But as vaccination rates increase, the outbreak is brought under control, and governments and citizens tend to coexist with the virus, it is hoped that borders will be opened to facilitate business recovery. Coupled with the tourism demand of international tourists, countries in the Asia-Pacific region have begun to lift the blockade and allow tourists to enter the country, which has clearly shown signs of recovery in the number of travel bookings in the Asia-Pacific region. Olivier Ponti, vice president of ForwardKeys, believes that the recovery of the Asian travel boom will be the driving force for global economic recovery.
European regions such as Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and France also saw an uptick in tourism, with travel bookings almost on par with the averages before COVID-19. Africa and the Middle East are also in the top 20 and Tanzania, Qatar and Egypt are close to their previous bookings.
It is believed that in the second half of the year to the beginning of next year, the world will return to the open state before the epidemic, international tourism will no longer be blocked by the epidemic, and will gradually return to the previous level of convenience. However, at the beginning of the opening, the cost of travel has risen. Therefore, it is recommended that you have to make a plan, prepare enough travel funds, sort out the countries you want to go to after the epidemic, and book in advance to spend less money and have a more relaxing and enjoyable time.