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USA source market flight search demand for European cities: analysis from Mabrian

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In general, all these European destinations are losing importance as the preferred tourist destination for Americans during 2021.

Mabrian has produced an analysis of American search demand for flights to Europe’s most popular destinations for the June, July and August period of this year Vs. 2019.

Carlos Cendra, Director of Sales & Marketing at Mabrian, comments: “Whilst the desire of American travellers for the most popular European city destinations had lost intensity during the last few months, due to the context, it is interesting to analyze how the inspirational demand for different destinations varies and is changing some pre-pandemic trends.

"Travellers from the USA are a very important part of the tourism mix for these destinations as whilst smaller in overall numbers, they are higher value. For example they not only typically spend more once in the destination, they also stay for longer, book further in advance and cancel less. Hotel and restaurant staff prioritise them too as they tip much more than us Europeans!  

“In general all these European destinations are losing importance as the preferred tourist destination for Americans during 2021. But while Barcelona has literally seen a halving of its share of searches compared to 2019 (9.1 searches less out of every million), Paris is having a light reduction of just 0.74 searches out of every million.

“And London, even though it is clearly losing quota, is still performing better by comparison with Barcelona and surpassing it in the rankings. Athens is the second least affected destination in losing share of searches, while Lisbon and Rome have decreased their share but maintained their ranking position.

"The stable performance of Paris is perhaps a little surprising given the very strict lock-down there, but it has always been very popular with US travellers at an inspirational level. Athens though is very much a surprise, falling only from 9.61 to 8.24 per million and perhaps reflecting the high-profile attempts of the Greek government to encourage tourists back.  

“Airlines are closely tracking these trends to respond to this situation and altering their lift capacity for the top European destinations accordingly - meaning that even if demand picks up suddenly, there simply won’t be enough lift to fulfil previous levels of reservations. Destinations need to keep that in mind and instead focus their efforts on the domestic and nearby European source markets accordingly. 

“For example, according to the airlines schedules for the rest of the summer as of 28th May, London, Paris, Lisbon and Barcelona have around 60% of the seats available that they did for the same period in 2019, whilst Rome has less than half. But Athens has around 75% of its prior capacity, which perhaps reflects that its search position ranking has been stable."

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