Tourist flights to UK remain strong despite terror attacks

Tourists flying to the UK this summer appear so far to be relatively undaunted by recent terror attacks, according to ForwardKeys which predicts future travel patterns by analysing 16 million booking transactions a day.

Looking ahead, the latest data shows that, as of June 17, forward bookings for international arrivals in London for the months of July and August are currently 12% ahead of what they were at the same point last year.  This is a significantly more positive position than the European average, which is currently 7.8% ahead.

The positive outlook for travel to London in July and August could fall or rise in the weeks ahead, but so far it has held up well since the London Bridge attack, as prior to the attack, bookings for July and August were 16% ahead.

ForwardKeys research also found that after the London Bridge attack, there was no significant wave of cancellations for air travel to the UK; although there has been a slow-down in new bookings.

Looking at arrivals from the beginning of June and forward to bookings for the rest of June, ForwardKeys’ latest assessment is that June will still show double digit growth on last year, 11% ahead.

Looking back, bookings for international travel to London (which accounts for 85% of the UK as a destination) had surged up 16.5% on last year prior to the Westminster attack on March 22. That strong surge abated somewhat after the Westminster incident, as the surge in bookings slowed to a very respectable +7.3% up on the previous year. After the Manchester bombing on May 22nd, enthusiasm for the UK appeared to wane further as the rate of bookings for London fell slightly, down 3.5% on last year.

Commenting on this data, Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys, said: “One needs to bear in mind that even though we have seen something of a slowdown in bookings for the UK in recent weeks, the forward booking situation for July and August remains extremely healthy and there has been a sustained positive trend in bookings for the UK throughout the year so ForwardKeys remains bullish on the UK’s tourism performance in summer 2017.”

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