In partnership with European Cities Marketing and their Barometer Report, the analysts at ForwardKeys shone the high beam on the highs and lows of travel within Europe this summer and in the last quarter of a roller-coaster year. And a few nuggets were unearthed, showing the return of business and luxury travel back to Europe.

Long-Haul Luxury Returns

There is increased demand for luxury travel. To illustrate this, we looked at passenger arrivals from Los Angeles to London and we see an increase in the share of passengers travelling in Business, First and Premium Economy classes.

“Premium cabins are experiencing a stronger rebound than the economy class ones as affluent travellers take it to the skies and look for a more exclusive and safer perceived experience,” says Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

Over the course of the Northern Hemisphere summer, we observed this trend for premium class long-haul travel to Italy and Greece, mainly from the USA and Dubai. Read the previous blog for more details.

Back to Intra-European Business Travel

“Looking at ticketing for Intra-European travel, we see that Business travel has been making a rebound over the last quarter and it continues to improve at a steady pace,” says Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

“This has been welcoming news for us at European Cities Marketing, encouraging our tourism boards members and MICE partners to re-think their live events strategy for 2022,” says Flavie Baudot, Acting Head of European Cities Marketing.


Most Resilient European Cities in Q4

London is the Top Inbound Destination City in Europe in Q4. This is being aided by the easing of entry restrictions for vaccinated travellers as well as the streamlining of the Traffic Light system.

The Top 10 most resilient destination cities are a Southern European affair. “The dominance of Southern Europe will continue from the summer well until the end of the year. Driving this trend are travellers who may have been reluctant to travel during summer (due to uncertainty regarding travel restrictions), thus now taking up their holidays in the autumn in warmer parts of Europe,” says Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

As the Americas takes the lead in reactivating global travel, it’s reassuring to see Europe pick up its pace in business and luxury travel. Many of this can be attributed to the return of live industry events such as WTM London, IBTM in Barcelona and ILTM in Cannes. Here’s hoping for normality returning sooner than later!


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