A major increase in global international flights bookings has been recorded as the international travel takes off, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and its knowledge partner ForwardKeys.
The booking bounce back was revealed at WTTC's 21st Global Summit that took place in Manila, as the world continues to reopen from the pandemic.
News of the strong recovery highlights a promising prospect ahead for summer holiday travel, with sun and sea destinations, such as the Caribbean and Latin America, leading the international inbound bookings.
According to ForwardKeys, leading travel and analytics company, the countries leading the ranking of top 20 best performing destinations for the summer are Costa Rica, Aruba, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, all of which rely heavily upon international travel. These destinations lead the pack with bookings already surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
Last year, the industry's gradual recovery was significantly slowed by the surge in Omicron cases. However, the future is looking brighter for 2022 with positive booking data worldwide.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: "WTTC 2022 booking data from ForwardKeys is a firm signal of the strong recovery of the global travel & tourism sector.
"Travel to the Asia-Pacific region shows impressive signs of improvement as destinations gradually reopen their borders to visitors, in line with customer demand."
Olivier Ponti, ForwardKeys Vice President Insights, said: "It is very encouraging that Asia has finally begun re-opening, which is driving the return of both travel to Asia and within the region, both of which are clearly going to be instrumental in driving the global economic recovery."
According to the data, Q1 and Q2 figures for this year are showing triple-digit growth for inbound flight bookings around the world, compared to last year, including the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Travellers are eager to spend more on travel following the loosening of restrictions, with heightened demand for premium cabin classes in 2022. Other trends seen include stronger last-minute bookings.
Further evidence of the resurgence in travel is shown in arrivals in Europe, with a massive 350% surge in international arrivals for Q1 in 2022 compared to last year.
Asia-Pacific countries also saw an increase in arrivals for Q1 of this year compared to 2021, with bookings for the region up 275%.
In Q2 we see further acceleration of the continuing recovery with a significant rise in international bookings, which have soared by 264% on the year before.
This acceleration is particularly notable in Asia where travel restrictions are being removed. Host to the WTTC Global Summit, the Philippines is the fastest growing single destination in South East Asia, 29% up in Q2 this year compared to Q1.
The summer travel outlook is led by the resurgence of travel to the Caribbean and Latin America, which includes seven out of the top 10 travel destinations.
India and Pakistan are also highly popular, thanks to travel mainly for visits to family and friends.
Meanwhile in Europe, destinations such as Iceland, Greece, Portugal, Spain and France are showing a strong resurgence with travel bookings just slightly behind pre-pandemic levels.
Africa and the Middle East also feature in the top 20 list with Tanzania, Qatar and Egypt also reaching close to pre-pandemic levels of travel.
The continued recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector in the Asia-Pacific region looks set to accelerate as destinations gradually reopen throughout 2022.
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