France Reopens its Borders & British Bookings Boom: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?

France has officially lifted travel restrictions for British tourists and, within a few days, bookings and searches have risen sharply. This trend began to appear in the first few days of 2022 when the European news reported a rumour about a possible easing of restrictions between France and the United Kingdom, but confirmation of the rumor has caused a boom in flight searches.

The evolution of the ongoing pandemic made the French government decide to amend the travel restrictions, allowing fully vaccinated British travellers, with a negative PCR test, to enter France as of January 14, without needing to justify their presence or having to quarantine.

 

The news has had a very strong impact on British travellers, who, even in the days preceding the official announcement, began looking for flights and hotels in tourist destinations across the Channel. The increase, recorded by various sources, was very strong and shows how eager the British people are to travel again.

 

The positive reaction of the market to the lifting of restrictions is a scenario that we have already seen and analysed in several cases but, in this specific case, the reaction of British tourists is being watched very closely. Today, the UK is the first western country to have reached and surpassed the peak of Omicron infections, and the rest of Europe is watching it closely (as well as other countries worldwide) to see the outcome of this decision.

 

 

SKI RESORTS ARE MOST POPULAR. We have seen an immediate and dramatic spike in bookings, with volumes since the Government announcement heading towards pre-pandemic levels, which demonstrates just how much demand is out there amongst people wanting to get away for a much-needed holiday,” said Steve Heapy, Jet2 CEO, commenting on the market turnaround.

 

Data from Lybra, which collects flight searches from all airlines, also reports a sharp increase in recent days: the number of flights from the UK to France increased by 86% during the past week, almost a doubling of the previous week’s searches. After the news of the official lift of the ban was published, British travelers began to search for flights on booking engines more frequently, with a peak of 87,500 searches on January 12, 2022. Spain, which until a few days ago was the number one French market, also increased its demand for travel, but only by 29%; the domestic market also increased by 26%.

 

It seems that the biggest demand from the British is for travel to ski destinations: “EasyJet reported that it had seen a 600 per cent increase in the number of people choosing to travel to popular winter sports destinations and a 386 per cent increase in flight bookings.” According to tour operator TUI, “ski bookings have doubled after the official announcement of the lifting of restrictions”. According to Lybra data, the most searched airports for Brits in the last week are Chambery (+278%) and Grenoble (+251%), airports, which are near to popular ski resorts such as Val Thorens, La Rosiere, Sainte Foy and La Grave.

 

 

CITIES OF ART & SEASIDE DESTINATIONS ALSO DID WELL. Not all British tourists want to go skiing: many tourists want to travel to the big French cities and, as always, Paris is in first place. Around 60% of all British searches are for flights arriving in the capital and demand has grown by 98% in the last week. Demand for the cities of Lyon (+175%), Toulouse (+104%), Bordeaux (+75%) and Nantes (+73%) are also growing strongly.

Other British travellers prefer seaside destinations: 14% of British tourists intend to travel to the Mediterranean coast (especially to Nice and Marseille); 7% of them prefer the ocean coast while 3% are looking for flights to Corsica.

 

 

 

 

 

About Destination

Destination is a market intelligence project created by Lybra – developers of the most complete, machine learning, data-centric Revenue Management System (RMS) available on the market – to share real-time, region-specific statistics, information and trends in the world of tourism.

 

Every day, Lybra analyzes millions of datasets – data collected from thousands of hotels’ PMS and flight search data from a leading metasearch booking engine – to help hoteliers “look ahead to better understand the present;” in other words, Lybra helps hoteliers understand the upcoming demand for their destination and gives them the revenue management tools and actionable insights necessary, to maximize bookings and revenue.

 

The aim of Destination is to give hoteliers and DMOs a more expansive view of tourism news and trends in different regions around the world. Destination produces weekly Travel Demand Reports, which share tourism developments for a specific country/region and analyze how the region’s travel news has impacted tourist demand. Follow Destination on LinkedIn to gain access to the upcoming Travel Demand Reports, which are published every Tuesday.

Lybra Destination powered by Zucchetti Travel Data Lake

 

The Travel Data Lake of Zucchetti Group collects and manages millions of overnight searches every day, thanks to which it is possible to have a statistically relevant overview on tourists’ future demand and extrapolate valuable information about travelers’ profile. The system collects anonymously stay searches carried out by travellers through the CRS of the Zucchetti group, providing an accurate forecast of hotel demand (period, destination, duration of stay, etc.). Zucchetti is the largest Italian software house: with over 40 years of experience, in 2021 it has more than 700,000 customers, revenues of over 1.3 billion euros and a group of over 8,000 people. Thanks to its Hospitality division, which provides digital tools to over 50% of accommodation facilities in Italy, in 2020 Zucchetti developed the Travel Data Lake, the largest forecasting hub in Italy, with the aim of centralizing forecast data from the group’s Booking Engine. The data is processed by Destination, the market intelligence platform of Lybra Tech, a Zucchetti Group company specialising in technologies for tourism and data analysis. Lybra Destination is a multi-source dashboard that helps Decision Makers exploit the power of future data: it is the only tool that can manage all data available in the territory by simultaneously analyzing multiple sources. Leveraging the power of AI and machine learning, Lybra Destination helps tourist destinations guide decision making and monitor the impact of their promotional activities.

News & Events 

News

Eventi

Lybra is Taking Over the Internet – November & December 2020

Lybra is Taking Over the Internet – November & December 2020

Meet Lybra’s revenue management experts in November and December, at many of the industry’s top virtual events, including: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Online Distribution Inventory...

Blog

Assistant is a Revenue Management System designed to optimize strategy and sales for independent hotels, groups and hotel chains.

Destination was created to empower destinations to actively act on the future and move away from passive analysis of historical data.

Business enables the integration of real-time data on tourism in Italy into any dashboard or B.I.