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Report: Athens Seeing More US Travelers in October

Athens has so far surpassed pre-pandemic 2019 October levels in terms of arrivals from the US market, said travel analytics firm ForwardKeys.

More specifically, since October 11, through travel from the US to Europe in Q3 was down by 6 percent over 2019, Athens exceeded 2019 levels by 27 percent, Lisbon by 47 percent and Milan by 12.

ForwardKeys analysts attribute the increase to the euro – dollar exchange rate which US travelers are benefiting from to visit Europe in the last quarter of the year.

“For Q4, we see further improvement for Lisbon as a destination for US passengers, currently, at +50 percent over 2019 levels, this is being driven by arrivals from San Francisco at +119 percent, and Washington and Miami both at +84 percent,” said VP Insights, ForwardKeys, Olivier Ponti.

According to the ForwardKeys report, travel recovery in Europe is still going strong into Q4 exceeding Q3 and 2019 levels driven in large part to a returning demand in European city destinations.

Based on the number of arrivals from October to December 2022, all regions in Europe are set to see improved performance. “The booking situation shows there will be a strong demand but this may place airports and airlines under pressure again as we saw take place this summer,” says Ponti.

Other key takeaways:

-the dynamic in Southern European destinations is still strong

– recovery is accelerating in Northern Europe, which is set to see the biggest improvement with a 10-percentage point increase in recovery between Q3 and Q4

-Q3 international arrivals to Europe were down by 29 percent compared to 2019 levels

– city destinations will be gaining ground again vs 2019 levels

– Istanbul, Lisbon, and Madrid will continue to attract international arrivals close to pre-Covid levels past the peak season

-Istanbul did well in both Q3 and Q4, thanks in large part to the resilience of both long-haul as well as intra-European markets.

Source: ForwardKeys

Ponti said he expects the current fall of the euro and the rise of the US dollar to motivate more US travelers to visit Europe in the last quarter of the year.

Looking ahead, ForwardKeys analysts cite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, increasing airfares, the cost of living and the ability of airports to handle increasing holiday traffic as impacting recovery.

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