Summer bookings to the Americas down -26.8%, but ForwardKeys offers message of hope

THE AMERICAS. International summer season bookings to all destinations in the Americas are currently -26.8% behind where they were at the same time last year (as of 24 March), according to ForwardKeys.

The travel analytics company said the setback in bookings started with the COVID-19 outbreak in the second half of January and has continued to March – with cancellations now exceeding new bookings.

Bookings for June are -31.4% behind, while for July and August they are -24.6% and -23.3% behind respectively.

Source: ForwardKeys. Click on image to enlarge.

On a more positive note, ForwardKeys said there was still time for a “rapid booking recovery to rescue the summer season”. The analyst’s study shows that 17% of summer season bookings are typically made between September and January; 29% between February and April – which ForwardKeys said “looks likely to be the peak of the COVID-19 crisis and the associated travel restrictions”; and 53% between May and August.

The booking recovery will therefore be possible “if the world starts to recover from the worst of the outbreak around the end of April”.

Source: ForwardKeys. Click on image to enlarge.

ForwardKeys VP Insights Olivier Ponti commented: “What this analysis reveals is how late people actually book. With the temporary freeze on bookings induced by the COVID-19 crisis and associated travel restrictions, it is likely that summer booking will be even more last-minute in nature, owing to pent-up demand.

“However, when the recovery comes, it will not affect source markets and destinations equally; so to understand how strong it is, it will be crucial to keep careful tabs on what flights are and are not in service and how well bookings for each market are progressing.”

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