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Demand for Summer travel in Europe recovers, says ForwardKeys



ForwardKeys and ETOA predict a robust summer 2024 for European travel, with a shift in preferences toward urban and nature destinations, highlighting London’s popularity due to the Paris Olympics.

ForwardKeys, ETOA’s partner and leading travel intelligence provider, announced its summer outlook for 2024, revealing a robust recovery in demand for summer travel across Europe. This positive trend signifies a full return to pre-pandemic travel levels, with notable shifts in traveller preferences.

ETOA, the European Tourism Association, welcomes this positive news, and is pleased to share this insight with its membership.

London Most Searched Destination Amidst Paris Olympics Buzz

Analysis from ForwardKeys of flight searches from January to April 2024 shows London (5% share of flight searches for travel to Europe) benefits from the greatest relative increase in share of searches for travel in summer 2024 (+1.9 percentage points), driven by the collateral excitement of the Paris Olympics, with easily available transport links to the French capital. Paris itself shows similar popularity (+0.5 percentage points increase), although its share of searches is slightly lower as many visitors to the Games will have planned direct travel further in advance.  Istanbul (+0.4 p.p.), Rome (+0.7 p.p.) and Milan (+0.7 p.p.) gain in relative popularity while destinations in Spain, Greece and Portugal (including Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca) lose ground after enjoying great demand in the post-COVID years – reflecting shifting preferences among European travellers.

However, some destinations are bucking this trend, including Tenerife (+0.41 p.p.) and Izmir (+0.25 p.p.), which are witnessing the largest surge in interest among mid-tier destinations. Growing interest in Northern European cities Reykjavik (+0.21 p.p.) and Munich (+0.15 p.p.) reflects the popularity of destinations with cooler summer temperatures among holidaymakers.  In Eastern Europe, Tirana (+0.07 p.p.), continues to grow in popularity, building on success in recent years, and is joined by Yerevan (+0.03 p.p.) and Tbilisi (+0.09 p.p.) – popular among both European and Russian tourists, due to the combination of natural and cultural heritage available and affordable prices.

Analysis of forward ticketing data for travel to European city destinations in July and August 2024 reveals a shift in consumer preferences towards nature (+19%) and urban (+14%) destinations over traditional sun and beach destinations (+8%). This is reflected at a subregional level as year-on-year growth in international arrivals to Central/Eastern Europe (+25%), Western Europe (+15%) and Northern Europe (+13%) outstrips that to destinations in Southern Europe (+11%).


European Outbound Travellers Focus on Asian Destinations

Outbound travel from Europe is also displaying clear trends, with year-on-year growth in intra-European (+14%) and long-haul travel to a diverse range of Asian markets (+16%). Forward ticket data for July and August indicates that European travellers are increasingly choosing to venture further afield to explore the landscapes and cultures of Beijing (+132%) in particular, as well as Osaka (+66%), Bangkok (+21%), Colombo (+21%), and Kuala Lumpur (+14%). These destinations benefit from various factors, including improved connectivity, visa waivers for Europeans entering China, and the favourable Euro to Yen exchange rate. Moderate growth in demand for US markets Chicago (+14%) and Miami (+9%) is also notable.


Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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