ForwardKeys, the travel analytics company, revealed on Wednesday that flight bookings to Greece, Portugal and Spain for the months of July and August have spiked sharply since the end of May.
“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, the vice president of ForwardKeys.
However, in the fourth week of May, things started to change for the better, as Greece announced that the country would open its doors to foreign tourists beginning June 15. A few days later, Portugal also announced that its border would reopen on the same day; and the following day, Spain followed suit, announcing it would reopen for foreign tourism beginning in July.
Markets reacted immediately, according to ForwardKeys. From 20th May – 3rd June, the number of international flight tickets issued for Greece increased from effectively zero to 35 percent of what they had been during the same period in 2019.
The ForwardKeys data indicates that 2020 booking levels are still far behind 2019, but there were noticeable spikes at the time the various reopening announcements are made.
“A closer analysis by type of traveler reveals that there has been a very similar pattern of recovery in all destinations. Leisure travelers account for the bulk of new tickets, but recovery has been stronger amongst expats and people visiting friends and relatives.
In that niche market, air tickets to the nations of Greece, Portugal, and Spain reached 89 percent, 87 percent, and 54 percent of 2019 levels, respectively,” Forwardkeys noted.