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Long Haul Recovery

01.02.22

As the long-haul travel industry bounces back, Abode2 reports on how Mexico and the Maldives are leading the way

Mexico and the Maldives are proving popular as travellers from Europe drive an increase in demand for long-haul beach and sun destinations in 2022, latest data reveals. Cancun is the destination of choice for many European travellers, but those from the UK are favouring the US, with Orlando and New York the top spots.

The new analysis reveals the destinations and international routes trending above 2019 levels based on Skyscanner’s global flight data. Routes showing the highest growth so far for 2022 over pre-pandemic levels in 2019 are topped by Heathrow-Orlando and Heathrow-Cancun. Others in the top ten include Gatwick-Cancun and Edinburgh-New York (Newark).

Itineraries with booking horizons of 7-29 days currently make up a third of bookings across Skyscanner’s global platforms, a 25% increase compared to 2019. Booking horizons of less than a week have doubled, while horizons of 90 days or more are down by 29%, in a sign that those willing travel are search and booking quickly as routes open up or restrictions are relaxed, according to the company.

Vice president of flights Hugh Aitken commented: “We are seeing more signals that certain markets and routes are recovering with demand exceeding pre-pandemic levels. According to our latest analysis, destinations such as Cancun, the Maldives, Dubai, and Orlando are proving popular amongst travellers seeking winter sun. Global and regional booking horizons do remain shortened when compared to 2019, impacting traditional seasonality.

Although Huge also explained: “taking Europe as an example, there are some early signs of normalisation as a fifth of consumers are currently planning trips up to two months in advance, up 14% year over year. Short-haul and domestic air travel dominated 2021, but we expect international medium and long-haul to make a comeback in 2022 with traveller demand returning as vaccination rates increase and restrictions are updated.”

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