ForwardKeys has revealed the list of the most popular EU countries for longer visits during this holiday season. Budapest (ahead by 29.3%) is second in increase only to Helsinki (ahead by 29.6%) regarding flight bookings between December 15, 2019 and January 15, 2020, followed by Bucharest (ahead by 28.4%), Lisbon (ahead by 27.7%), Porto (ahead by 26.5%), Athens (ahead by 22%), Copenhagen (ahead by 18.5%), Madrid (ahead by 18.3%), Prague (ahead by 16.5%), and Amsterdam (ahead by 14.4%).
A travel analytics firm, ForwardKeys, did the research, based on their analyses of 17 million flight bookings and 7 million flight searches a day.
Holiday bookings to EU countries from outside the EU are 11% ahead of where they were on November 12th last year. Budapest retailers – among many others, of course – will be very happy with the results of ForwardKeys’s research, as tourists tend to shop a lot, and the Hungarian capital seems to be visited by quite a few of them.
Increase in visitors from routes involving New York and Tel Aviv contributed significantly to the increase in Budapest’s bookings, while Helsinki’s is due to capacity growth in China and Japan routes, and Bucharest’s is because of their general increase in capacity over the last couple of years. Lisbon’s new South Korea route is paying off well, according to the research, and Porto’s popularity is thanks to their growth in flight capacity from Sao Paulo.
The number one destination this Christmas is London, followed by Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Milan, and Munich.
“Travel to EU countries over the Christmas period is currently well ahead, which is encouraging news for retailers. Our data does not only show the relative attractiveness of different cities, we can also analyse visitor profiles and arrival peaks and troughs. The high spots for an influx of visitors are just before Christmas on 21st December and just after it on 27th December. However, there are some critical nuances; for example, the Chinese market peaks on the earlier date, the US market on the latter date. Therefore, retailers who do good business with tourists might want to bear this in mind when considering things like the optimal timing and geo-targeting of marketing campaigns and the language profile of frontline staff on certain key dates,” Jérôme Goldberg, Global Retail & Travel Retail Director of ForwardKeys, said.