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Greece in Top European Destinations for 2021 Flight Bookings

Spain and Greece appear to be benefiting from travelers making bookings already for summer 2021, according to the latest data by Sojern.

The travel solutions provider recently explored traveler behavior to get a clear picture of how many people feel confident in planning and booking trips, and which locations are most popular for a 2021 summer getaway.

According to Sojern, with the flexibility offered by cancellation policies now implemented by many airlines and hotels, travel intent and confidence are both showing signs of growth.

“But this is not to say that demand has returned to pre-Covid-19 levels by any means. In fact, many remain cautious of travel due to factors including uncertainty around travel restrictions, and if or when people will receive the vaccine,” Sojern said.

The following data, collected on February 10, is part of an analysis of travel intent and confidence within Europe, focused on regional travel for the summer months.

‘European Summer’ Regional Travel – Top European Destinations for Flight Bookings Comparing YoY 2019 (pre-COVID-19) & 2021 – June 1-August 31

Following are the top ten European destinations that are currently being booked for this summer (between June 1 and August 31) and compared to 2019 bookings.

According to the data, confidence in regional trips to Spain for summer in 2019 was high, with bookings to the country made before February 9, 2019, accounting for 32 percent. Spain continues to be a popular destination between European travelers currently planning for this summer, with 46 percent of regional flight bookings being made to the country.

Greece has also seen a growth in confidence, with 14 percent of regional flight bookings being made to the destination – a big increase from the 4 percent of bookings made in early 2019 for the summer months, potentially due to how well the country dealt with the pandemic last summer.

“This makes Greece the second most popular country that European travelers have confidence in booking for this summer and is a positive sign for what are considered peak months for inbound travel,” Sojern said.

Portugal is another destination that has shown a growth in confidence.

On the contrary, flight bookings to the United Kingdom have dropped from 12 percent in 2019, to 3 percent in 2021. According to Sojern, this is likely in part due to the current lockdowns and quarantine regulations that have recently been introduced for inbound travelers, as well as uncertainty around when leisure travel will be allowed again.

Similar circumstances in France have likely caused the decrease in confidence from 15 percent in 2019 to 10 percent in 2021.

‘European Summer’ Regional Travel – Top European Origins for Flight Searches Comparing YoY 2019 (pre-COVID-19) & 2021 – June 1-August 31

Sojern also explored which European origins are planning to go on regional trips this summer. According to the top ten European origins searching for regional flights departing between June 1 and August 31, travelers from France, the UK, and Italy are showing the highest levels of regional travel intent for this summer.

According to the data, summer 2019 trips planned before February 9, 2019, compared to those planned prior to February 9, 2021, for this summer show very similar trends. In 2019 almost 60 percent of regional summer flight searches were made by France, Italy, and the UK. Similarly, this year around 55 percent of travel intent comes from the same three origin countries.

Moreover, when looking at regional flight searches, Sojern found that there is no clear standout week or date where European travelers are intending on departing for their holidays.

“This could be due to the volatility of travel at the minute with lockdowns still in place, so travelers are unsure of when destinations will be open, or when travel will be allowed,” Sojern said.

It is noted that Sojern’s insights are based on over 350 million traveler profiles and billions of travel intent signals, but does not capture 100 percent of the travel market.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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