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Europe returns to pre-pandemic travel levels

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Summer travel boom: Europe returns to pre-pandemic travel levels. Image: Delpixel / Shutterstock.com.

This year, summer travel demand across Europe has fully recovered, returning to pre-pandemic levels.

A report from travel intelligence firm ForwardKeys analysed flight searches from January to April 2024, revealing notable trends.

London saw the most significant increase in flight search share for summer 2024 travel, rising by 1.9 percentage points, and now accounts for 5 per cent of all flight searches to the EU.

Paris Olympic Games Boost Travel Demand

The excitement surrounding the Paris Olympics is also driving increased travel demand.

Paris experienced a 0.5 percentage point increase in flight search share.

Although the share is slightly lower, this is likely due to many visitors planning their travel well in advance.

Other destinations experiencing growth include Istanbul (up 0.4 percentage points), Rome (up 0.7 percentage points), and Milan (up 0.7 percentage points).

In contrast, destinations in Spain, Greece, and Portugal, such as Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, and Palma de Mallorca, are seeing a decline after high demand in the post-COVID years.

In Eastern Europe, Tirana continues to rise in popularity, following its recent success, along with Yerevan and Tbilisi.

Changing Travel Preferences

Ticket data for July and August 2024 shows a shift in consumer preferences.

Travel to nature destinations has increased by 19 per cent, while urban destinations saw a 14 per cent increase.

Traditional sun and beach destinations saw an 8 per cent increase.

This indicates a growing interest in diverse travel experiences beyond the typical beach holidays.

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