Bangkok and Paris top the list of most popular destinations this summer

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ForwardKeys, a travel analysis company based in Spain, has revealed this summer’s 100 most attractive destinations. The ranking, which is based on the number of online searches for flights to these destinations, includes Bangkok, Paris and London in its Top 3.

 

While the confinements and travel restrictions were largely lifted last year, the summer of 2023 marks the first real resumption of tourism on long-haul flights. However, tourism is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

 

Forwardkeys states that its data on flight searches is the most comprehensive source available. It analysed more than 1.1 billion destination searches for the period 1 July to 31 August from a wide selection of online travel agencies, airlines and metasearch companies, including Google Flights, Kayak, Kiwi.com, Skyscanner and Wego.

 

Highest departure intention for Bangkok

 

At the top of the list is Bangkok, well ahead of the second most popular destination, Paris. Up three places on last year in terms of summer departure intentions, the Thai capital has moved up three places and taken the French capital’s title of leader in the rankings.

 

London remains in third place.

 

Fourth in the ranking, Denpasar, the capital of the island of Bali, climbs six places in comparable terms, relegating Barcelona to fifth place.

 

Next come New York, Lisbon, Istanbul and Madrid. Up one place on last year. Athens makes its debut in the Top 10.

 

Also new to the Top 20 are Palma de Mallorca (Canary Islands), Singapore, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Rome, Manila and Frankfurt.

 

© ForwardKeys

 

Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur made the biggest gains in the Top 20 compared with last year. The Japanese capital moved up 53 places to 13th position. Malaysia’s capital has moved up 24 places to 14th in this year’s travel intentions.

 

Singapore moved up 14 places to 12th, while Manila (Philippines) jumped 8 places to 19th. Their rise is mainly due to the relatively late easing of travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, which prompted this recent surge in interest.

 

The best climbers outside the Top 20 are concentrated in cities in Asia and Australasia which, last summer, were still subject to some of the strictest and most enduring pandemic-related travel regulations.

 

The best performing city is undoubtedly Taipei. The Taiwanese capital moved up 161 places to 56th place. It is followed by Hong Kong, up 129 places (39th), Seoul, up 56 places (35th), Hanoi, up 41 places (76th), Auckland, up 41 places (103rd), Melbourne, up 31 places (75th), Ho Chi Minh City, up 30 places (52nd) and Phuket, up 24 places (57th).

 

Focus on shopping and urban destinations

 

This is undoubtedly one of the key findings of the ForwardKeys study on airline ticketing: the city is now more attractive than the beach.

 

Throughout the pandemic and at the start of the recovery, leisure travel to seaside destinations was in the lead.

 

But there has now been a clear break in the flight booking habits of summer holidaymakers.

 

Compared with the same period last year, summer flight bookings to seaside destinations are up by 22%, while shopping destinations are up by 52% and urban destinations by 42%.

 

Nature destinations, up 45%, are also much more popular than seaside holidays.

 

These new practices are leading cities to rethink their visitor segmentation, as the distinction between business/leisure travellers and tourists/residents is now outdated.

 

The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris will undoubtedly be a stress test for the new role of cities, where the challenge is as much to regenerate the local economy as to increase their appeal, with accessibility, safety and heritage preservation at the heart of the concerns.

 

Although it has overtaken seaside tourism, urban tourism is still a niche market in the face of mass tourism.

 

In fact, this type of tourism is set to double by the end of the decade. Data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) points to growth of 15% in Hong Kong, 13.1% in Bangkok and 13.8% in Jakarta between 2022 and 2032.

 

As stated at the last World Tourism Organisation summit in the Saudi capital, Doha, “today more than half the world’s population lives in cities. This includes ancient cities like Athens and Rome, and major metropolises like Tokyo”. She adds that “people are looking to shop, visit museums and attend shows“.

 

Other notable trends emerge from ForwardKey’s in-depth analysis of flight bookings.

 

These include the growth of London as a hub for multiple destinations and long-haul travel to Europe, the appeal of music festivals, and the fact that the Chinese are recovering more quickly than the Japanese when it comes to travelling abroad.

 

Recovery not yet at pre-pandemic levels

 

If we look at the global recovery in travel compared to pre-pandemic levels (2019), bookings for the summer are only 13% lower.

 

On the other hand, there is a wide geographical disparity. The main dynamic market remains the United States, where bookings for summer flights abroad are now 11% up on 2019.

 

They are followed by Canada, with an increase of 4%. The UK is only at 3%, while the EU is at 11%.

 

Latin America is the second best-recovering continental market, 14% behind 2019. It is followed by India, 17% behind, South Korea, 29% behind, the Gulf States, 36% behind, and China, 69% behind.

 

Beware, however, of taking the current socio-economic context into account. As Olivier Conti points out, “While the outlook for summer travel is relatively good, there are a few reasons to be cautious. Inflation remains high, so if consumers travel again, they may not spend as generously.”

 

He adds, “If demand picks up late, the recovery could be thwarted if operators are not prepared; and stories of transport chaos discourage last-minute bookings.

 

Read also > The Old Continent: the top summer destination for non-Europeans – Luxus Plus (luxus-plus.com)

 

Featured photo : © Press[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row njt-role=”not-logged-in”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

ForwardKeys, a travel analysis company based in Spain, has revealed this summer’s 100 most attractive destinations. The ranking, which is based on the number of online searches for flights to these destinations, includes Bangkok, Paris and London in its Top 3.

 

While the confinements and travel restrictions were largely lifted last year, the summer of 2023 marks the first real resumption of tourism on long-haul flights. However, tourism is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

 

Forwardkeys states that its data on flight searches is the most comprehensive source available. It analysed more than 1.1 billion destination searches for the period 1 July to 31 August from a wide selection of online travel agencies, airlines and metasearch companies, including Google Flights, Kayak, Kiwi.com, Skyscanner and Wego.

 

Highest departure intention for Bangkok

 

At the top of the list is Bangkok, well ahead of the second most popular destination, Paris. Up three places on last year in terms of summer departure intentions, the Thai capital has moved up three places and taken the French capital’s title of leader in the rankings.

 

London remains in third place.

 

Fourth in the ranking, Denpasar, the capital of the island of Bali, climbs six places in comparable terms, relegating Barcelona to fifth place.

 

Next come New York, Lisbon, Istanbul and Madrid. Up one place on last year. Athens makes its debut in the Top 10.

 

Also new to the Top 20 are Palma de Mallorca (Canary Islands), Singapore, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Rome, Manila and Frankfurt.

© ForwardKeys

 

Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur made the biggest gains in the Top 20 compared with last year. The Japanese capital moved up 53 places to 13th position. Malaysia’s capital has moved up 24 places to 14th in this year’s travel intentions.

 

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ForwardKeys, a travel analysis company based in Spain, has revealed this summer’s 100 most attractive destinations. The ranking, which is based on the number of online searches for flights to these destinations, includes Bangkok, Paris and London in its Top 3.

 

While the confinements and travel restrictions were largely lifted last year, the summer of 2023 marks the first real resumption of tourism on long-haul flights. However, tourism is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

 

Forwardkeys states that its data on flight searches is the most comprehensive source available. It analysed more than 1.1 billion destination searches for the period 1 July to 31 August from a wide selection of online travel agencies, airlines and metasearch companies, including Google Flights, Kayak, Kiwi.com, Skyscanner and Wego.

 

Highest departure intention for Bangkok

 

At the top of the list is Bangkok, well ahead of the second most popular destination, Paris. Up three places on last year in terms of summer departure intentions, the Thai capital has moved up three places and taken the French capital’s title of leader in the rankings.

 

London remains in third place.

 

Fourth in the ranking, Denpasar, the capital of the island of Bali, climbs six places in comparable terms, relegating Barcelona to fifth place.

 

Next come New York, Lisbon, Istanbul and Madrid. Up one place on last year. Athens makes its debut in the Top 10.

 

Also new to the Top 20 are Palma de Mallorca (Canary Islands), Singapore, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Rome, Manila and Frankfurt.

© ForwardKeys

 

Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur made the biggest gains in the Top 20 compared with last year. The Japanese capital moved up 53 places to 13th position. Malaysia’s capital has moved up 24 places to 14th in this year’s travel intentions.

 

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Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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