Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel, according to latest flight booking data.
Greece, and Iceland, which will welcome vaccinated travellers this summer, have seen inbound flight bookings pick up dramatically from the moment of their announcements.
Greece tops the list of most popular destinations for British travellers this summer, ticketing research firm ForwardKeys revealed.
The country has led the way in announcing a willingness to welcome visitors who have been vaccinated, passed a Covid-19 test or recovered from the virus.
That public position has been rewarded in flight bookings from major outbound markets such as the US and the UK.
Confirmed tickets for travel between July and September are 12% ahead of where they were at the equivalent moment in 2019.
Israel, the US and UK, where vaccination campaigns are particularly well advanced, have seen outbound flight bookings climb more steeply than elsewhere.
The correlation between vaccination rates and outbound travel is strong, as consumers gain confidence, the statistics show.
Bookings to Europe from Israel, which has vaccinated more than 60% of its population, are at 63% of 2019 levels while bookings from the UK, which has vaccinated over 52%, are at 32% of levels in 2019.
ForwardKeys insights vice president Olivier Ponti said: “Vaccinations appear to hold the key to reviving international travel, as countries that make clear promises to welcome vaccinated travellers are being rewarded by strong surges in flight bookings. We are seeing a revival of confidence in outbound travel from countries where there has been a successful rollout of Covid-19 vaccines too.
“From a commercial perspective, the outlook is likely to be a little better than the numbers portray because travellers are booking longer durations.
“Furthermore, if restrictions are eased in both origin markets and destinations, there are grounds for further optimism because there is strong pent-up demand and, during the pandemic, people have shown themselves willing to make bookings at significantly shorter notice than they used to.”