Robust growth is being driven by long-haul travel demand from the Americas (+21%), Asia Pacific (+14%) and Africa (+15%), but traffic from the Middle East has dampened (-20%) due to the drop in the oil price and the timing of Ramadan.
Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys co-founder and CEO, commented: “London is great value at the moment and people are springing at the opportunity for a holiday, costing less than they might have anticipated.
“It’s also testimony to London’s appeal as a destination and excellent news for all those businesses involved in selling London and the rest of the UK as a destination.
“This is an obvious and clear demonstration of how currency fluctuations affect travel, even in the face of other significant factors.”
EUROPE’S LONG-HAUL LEADER
Outside Europe, BRIC nations Brazil, Russia, India and China are all showing double-digit growth in forward bookings to London.
Standout countries showing the greatest advance in bookings include Chile (+67%), Brazil (+48%), Taiwan (+43%) and China (+35%).
Compared to its European counterparts, London is the leading destination for long-haul travel in terms of its share of segment bookings for arrivals (12%) during the same period.
This compares to Paris (9%), Rome (7%) and Barcelona (5%), however Madrid (4%), Amsterdam (4%) and Milan (3%) outpace the UK capital in terms of actual booking volume growth (see below).
In HY1 2017, total long-haul international arrivals were up by 16% year-on-year, with big gains coming from the Americas and Asia Pacific.
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