What better way to end the year than by travelling? While tradition dictates that Christmas should be spent with the family, New Year’s Eve is an entirely different occasion. Festivities, music, fireworks and glitter are the watchwords for the holiday that for many means only one thing: fun!
A crucial event for professionals
And that is why New Year’s Eve is one of the crucial moments for world tourism: travellers from all over the world take the opportunity to leave at this time and look for a new destination each year to celebrate the last day of the year. From a tourist point of view, it is an exceptional event: it is a recurring event with a predictable demand, which unites most of the world’s nations and justifies ever-changing trips; with different places and modes of consumption.
We are all set to experience a new wave of travellers eager to wait for midnight in a great place, but most of all we are excited to finally be able to celebrate like before. Yes, because this will be the first real New Year’s Eve after the events of the pandemic: if last year the flow of tourists worldwide was still forced to come to terms with health restrictions, this year the situation is decidedly more relaxed, although there are still some places that are difficult to access.
Tourism professionals, in all areas of our industry, have received quite a blow considering the travel flop of the last two years and are slowly catching up with what they lost. But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the events of the last few years have profoundly changed the way tourists do things. While the generic trends have remained the same, we only need to delve a little deeper to see how tastes, purchasing patterns and travel characteristics have profoundly changed in 2019.
New Year’s Eve travelling
We realise this especially when we talk about forecasts, analysing flight search data. Of course, it must be specified that in order to have a realistic view of what the future will be like and to grasp the changes in the market, it is necessary to have a comprehensive overview of the air transport sector, which between the various companies and the low-cost segments is a sector with a high level of complexity. For this reason, we analysed data from the largest international metasearch, which is able to statistically represent the entire global travel demand.
In order to understand where tourists want to celebrate New Year’s Eve, we isolated search data for flights departing between December 26 and 31: there are those who celebrate the New Year with a short trip and those who take the opportunity to have a real holiday. From the data, in fact, two distinct trends emerge: the first, which involves the majority of tourists (20.3%), opts for a short break leaving on December 30; while 19.4% prefer to take their time and leave just after Christmas, on December 26. Very few, on the other hand, choose the last minute option on December 31 (9.6%).
The most popular destinations
Wondering where would the tourists would like to go?
Surely the most desired destination is Europe: the charm of the festively decorated historical capitals convinces tourists, who prefer it to other macro-areas. Although the most sought-after country is the United States of America, the old continent gathers a good 45.3% of the demand from all over the world. And in fact, considering the Top 10 countries, five are European. In second place after the USA is Spain, which collects 6.0% of searches from around the world; followed by Italy (5.7%), the UK (5.0%), France (3.3%) and Germany (2.7%).
And going into details for individual cities, the forecasts become even more interesting: in first place among the cities most desired by tourists is London, crowned the favourite destination for New Year’s Eve 2023. Of course, London is a major metropolis and certainly tourism is not its only vocation, but there is undoubtedly a strong demand for the English capital for the end of the year. In second place there is Bangkok: this, too, is an unusual preference because for the Thais, New Year’s Eve falls in April, but the celebrations for the end of the calendar year, with fireworks and a legendary nightlife, are nonetheless very famous. Next comes romantic Paris and the entertainment capitals Barcelona, Dubai (which becomes more tolerant of Western customs during New Year’s Eve) and Amsterdam. Finally, we highlight the case of Istanbul, which not only has a strong demand for New Year’s Eve, but is also substantially polarised. The city, in fact, will be taken by storm by Germans, who represent their main target market. In fact, the German market is not only very important for Istanbul, it is even the monopolist! Of all the searches made for the city, in fact, those from Germany alone weigh in at 48.1%!