British outbound travel has taken off but lack of inbound continues to cause economic concern.
Data which revealed the huge disparity between forward flight bookings for outbound and inbound UK travel was collated for the global tourism body by the travel data and analytics company.
The pent-up desire to travel shows in forward flight booking data for UK holidaymakers who are flocking to family favourites, such as Turkey (up 53%) and Greece (up 51%) over the busy summer period, compared to pre-pandemic figures. Inbound bookings to the UK are still 45% below pre-pandemic levels
Spain, a long-time summer favourite and the most popular destination overall for sun-seeking British travellers, is also performing well and ahead of pre-pandemic levels (up 1%).
Research also shows that following two years of forced separation, British families are finally jetting off to visit family and friends in destinations such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, with flight booking soaring by 36%, 28% and 26% respectively, compared to 2019 levels. Bookings during the same period to the US, which in 2019 was the fifth most popular destination for jet-setting Brits, remain 10% lower than before the pandemic.