Flight booking data shows London has fallen to the bottom of the top 10 most booked European cities, as border restrictions and UK quarantine regulations choked travel, according to joint research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and ForwardKeys.
In the first half of June last year as the holiday season was in full swing, London was the most heavily booked city in Europe for any date of arrival, followed by Paris and Rome.
However, travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the quarantine rules imposed by the UK government, the capital has slumped to the bottom of the top 10.
While Europe has begun to relax travel restrictions and bookings have begun to pick-up, those for London have languished
Under pressure from the travel sector, the UK government finally looks set to announce ‘travel corridors’ to popular European summer hotspots such as France, Germany, Greece, Turkey and Italy. This would enable airlines to open flights for bookings to Brits eager to get away during the summer.
Lisbon meanwhile has soared to the top of the list of most booked European cities during the first half of June, compared to sitting close to the bottom in ninth place in 2019.
Portugal has been one of the first countries to establish enhanced hygiene and safety protocols to welcome tourists and has one of the top testing rates to control transmission.