Date: April 2018
Location: UK – Incoming international arrivals
International forward bookings to London are lagging 3.5% behind this time last year and they’re expected to fall 10.1% in the second quarter.
Analyst ForwardKeys, which analyses 17 million flight bookings a day, said there has been significant drop in bookings to London from the Chinese, who have accounted for the recent boom in visitor numbers.
Bookings from China are lagging 5.4% behind this time last year – and they fell more than 13% during Chinese New Year. Booking from the US are lagging by 7.2%.
In contrast, other top European Union destinations – Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Barcelona – look set to grow visitor arrivals during 2018.
Looking at year-on-year comparisons, ForwardKeys said London’s decline began during the last quarter of 2017.
Forwardkeys’ data found that terror attacks had a ‘moderate’ effect, but the fluctuation of sterling was the greatest influence on forward bookings.
“The pound’s strengthening position against the US dollar and Chinese Yuan coincides with a reduced visitor outlook from those countries whose holiday spending money suffered a diminishing value in the UK,” it said.
On a brighter note, bookings from Australia and New Zealand are currently up around 16% and arrivals from Argentina, Brazil, India, Nigeria and Russia also ‘look encouraging’, said ForwardKeys.
ForwardKeys CEO and co-founder, Olivier Jager, said: “Our findings partly demonstrate the impact that currency fluctuations can have on a destination. US and Chinese visitors took advantage when sterling was weaker, now they’re reacting the other way as the pound recovers.”
THPT Comment: To date, despite bundles of new hotel rooms in London, every year for the past 10 years, London hotels are holding up well…so maybe these flight numbers reflect they travellers that don’t stay in hotels?
ForwardKeys count some fairly impressive clients that use their numbers – Major hotel groups such as Marriott, IHG, Raffles, Tourist bodies like VisitBriatain, PATA, WTTC, Japan National Toursim Office and Disneyland.
First Seen: Travelmole