Athens Among Most Popular Cities for European Bookings

Flight booking data has shown that Athens, Greece currently ranks within the top 5 most-booked European cities during the first half of June 2020 compared to last year’s rankings.

The findings come from a joint research study conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council and ForwardKeys, which provides statistics including booking transactions and flight plans to allow clients to better understand the travel industry and make forecasts.

According to the research done, international travel to European Union countries drastically dropped by 84.4 percent in the first half of June 2020 compared to previous years.

During the first half of June 2019, London had been ranked as the most-booked European city, followed by Paris and Rome. Meanwhile, Athens did not rank at all in the top 10.

However, due to current border restrictions and Covid-19 quarantine regulations, countries such as Greece and Portugal have soared in the rankings due to both governments implementing effective health and safety measures than compared to the UK or Italy.

These implementations, according to WTTC’s Safe and Seamless Traveler Journey Initiative, “will restore consumer confidence and encourage traveling to resume.”

Greece had been one of the first countries to establish hygiene protocols during the initial months of the pandemic as well as create measures to effectively welcome international tourists. Their emphasis on testing has also worked to minimize transmission of the virus.

According to the WTTC, these measures “will enable travelers to meet the huge pent up demand to travel once more and enjoy a much-needed summer break.”

The large increase in booking will also help with the Travel & Tourism industry, restoring the livelihoods of millions of people dependent on the sector. A relaxation of travel restrictions have also contributed to international travel slowly recovering.

In the WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total) in 2019, making a 10.3 percent contribution to global GDP.