Spain outbound forecast for 2018

Research released by ForwardKeys, the company that helps forecast future travel by analysing around 17 million flight booking transactions a day, reveals that Spanish intercontinental flight bookings for the first half of 2018 are currently 4.4% ahead of where they were at the same time last year. The good news comes in anticipation of FITUR, Spain’s most important tourism trade fair, which opens on Wednesday 17th January.

Growth in long-haul travel is set to be lifted by new routes from Barcelona and Madrid and substantially increased enthusiasm for travel to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt and Thailand.

Spaniards will now be able to fly directly from Madrid to Recife (Brazil) and from Barcelona to Boston and Tehran. Furthermore, the routes connecting Madrid with Caracas (Venezuela), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Quito (Ecuador) will be served by an additional airline.

The long-haul destinations currently showing the greatest growth in bookings for the first half of 2018 (benchmarked against the same time last year) are Egypt, 60.6% ahead, which is recovering from a period of internal political unrest, the Dominican Republic, 48.8% ahead, which is benefitting from a new winter-season flights operated by Wamos Air and Cuba, 42.6% ahead, which has been experiencing a tourism boom.

Looking ahead to the Easter holiday season (19th March – 1st April), the largest long-haul destination for Spaniards will be the USA, which has a dominant, 28%, share of the segment. The next most popular intercontinental destination is Thailand with a 10% market share. It is followed by Cuba, Argentina and Japan, all with a 4% share.

Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys, said: “This is a healthy outlook. One has to be particularly pleased for Egypt, as it is a fabulous destination that has suffered greatly in recent years and, like Spain, is heavily dependent on tourism. Also, one cannot help but be impressed by Thailand’s and Cuba’s progress in attracting Spanish visitors, as both have significant shares of the market and are showing strong growth in forward bookings.”


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