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Corfu Among Top 5 Int’l Destinations for UK Travel in 2021

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The Greek island of Corfu is among the top 5 international destinations of choice for UK nationals planning to travel this year, according to analytics firm ForwardKeys.

More specifically, the Ionian island of Corfu together with Orlando, Faro, Las Vegas, and Ibiza are the leading choices for travel according to Air Ticket data for tickets issued from 4 June to 21 September 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

“This goes to show you that the desire to travel and pent-up demand are real. With the right travel conditions put in place and governments installing more confidence than fear in traveling abroad, not everything needs to about doom and gloom for the travel sector in 2021,” said Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys.

According to data collected by ForwardKeys for the UK Travel Retail Forum, in addition to the global Covid-19 shock, Brexit, the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, continuous lockdowns and travel restrictions, have also hit the British travel sector. 

In terms of international origin cities to the UK in December 2020, the most resilient were cities in India: Kochi was up by 52 percent and Amritsar 18 percent. In Pakistan, Islamabad was down by 21 percent.

“These issued tickets show that it wasn’t the leisure market driving the sales to the UK, rather the VFR [visiting friends or relatives] market. As we’ve noticed in other parts of Europe, the VFR market is an audience to take note of to leverage whatever bookings you can make during this pandemic,” said Ponti.

The impact of Covid-19 was also evident in seat capacity for intercontinental travel as well as intra-European travel which saw seats up in December. Intercontinental travel peaked at 34 percent of 2019 levels, intra-European capacity was only half of summer recovery levels.

Indicatively, over the 1 October-31 December 2020 period, the most active city pairs in terms of air traffic were Paris and Amsterdam. Madrid and Lisbon were the most popular routes out of London with year-on-year variation down by 72.1 percent.

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