The U.S has recently removed an 18-month ban for traveling Europeans.
Within 24 hours of the announcement, it’s estimated that flights from London to New York City were searched 1.4 million times. Plus, as reported by Travelport (a global travel tech company), this was the most searched flight category thus far. However, NYC bookings did not increase sharply in tandem with online search rates.
But still, Europe is capitalizing on the removed restrictions. Record high European travels to the US are being witnessed, with the majority coming from the UK.
The most booked flights were from London to Orlando (according to Travelport), with the analysis sourcing its data from websites such as Priceline and Booking.com.
This “underscores the return of leisure travel demand,” said Katie Cline, a senior director at Travelport.
Business Travels Also Increasing
While lifting the bans on traveling, the September 20th announcement does place some restrictions on flights. Those specifically include vaccination and COVID testing protocols for international travelers. The protocols were set to launch in early November this year.
Still, the announcement was a boon to those who love exploration. Those specifically concerned with future travels in 2021 were interested.
But of all US locations, increased bookings were found in Orlando, Florida. This seems to imply that Europeans travel to the US for leisure more and business less.
New Travelling Rules
Biden’s Administration did announce early October that these new protocols would be implemented by November 8th. The announcement drove a large amount of booking, seeking to capitalize on legislative changes before 2021’s end.
It would also be the second following September’s restriction lift. The consequences included even more online searches for corporate travel, with London to NY travels doubling during that time period.
The trend isn’t just obvious in flight trends though. It can also be seen in travel marketing and hotel booking trends.
So leisure may have been the driving force with the first announcements. But heading into October and November, more business travelers have started to take advantage of the new ban lifts.
Are Europeans Heading to Other Locations?
London to Orlando, while popular at first, would soon be ignored for a more popular flight route – this being London to New York. Currently, NY is the top hotel bookings destinations for Europeans.
In general, there seems to be a trend where European travelers favor cities and locations with high levels of sunlight.
As a result, many popular cities don’t seem like an attraction for many Europeans. However, some are gaining traction, with Honolulu hotel bookings rising by 139% for leisure travelers, and business travelers booking Phoenix 84% more often.
The new interest in Phoenix is quite outstanding, which seems to be a popular location for small business conferences. The city does come with excellent outdoor activities, sunlight levels, excellent air services, and good golfing, making it a prime attraction for business discussions.
What About House Rentals?
The late September announcements did drive an increase in housing rentals. Based on info from HomeToGo, search levels went up by 91% during that time.
Again, New York City tops the list. It was the most searched U.S. destination for house rentals by European travelers from August to October. Five states dominated the remainder of the top 10 list:
- California: Orange County (2nd place), L.A. (5th place), San Diego (7th place), San Bernardino County (10th place)
- Florida: Miami-Dade County (4th place), Broward Country (6th place)
- Hawaii: Honolulu (3rd)
- Colorado: Summit County (8th)
- Pennsylvania: Pocono Mountains (9th)
With the US removing travel bans throughout the past quarter, more and more Europeans have been flying to the US.
Some seem to head there for recreation, others for business. But still, which of Europe’s countries are frequent travelers to the US?
Currently, the top contender is the UK. Britons are the most likely to travel. Next come the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
More on the Travel Trends
Britons have a clear lead over other European travelers. As data from Travelport shows, bound flights from the U.K to the U.S were more than any from other European countries. This is also seen in search engine reports, where most bookings come from the UK.
Following Biden’s second announcement in mid-October, booked flights from the UK to the US pre-thanksgiving went up by 2200%. This may be due to overseas families reuniting for holidays, in addition to the nearing Black Friday at the time, which Britons thoroughly enjoy in the US.
It also seems to follow a popular trend in the world of travel, where November is seen as the most popular flight month to the US from Europe. With early November re-opening travel, the changes can be considered on time with what the traveling market needs.
Recovering Travel Market
Increasing international travel is good news for the already slowed travel industry. According to experts, this might mark the largest growth in transatlantic business travel since the pandemic’s start.
Even if the traveling industry needs to recover more it is moving in the right direction, especially with how horribly other regions have been faring. Data from Adara’s travel tracker shows that hotel bookings from Europe Middle East and Africa to the United State did drop by 43% from 2019.
Adara also indicates that British business travelers made 50% of their hotel bookings in the U.S at the end of 2021 that were made in 2019.
The data indicates that hotel bookings by German (-65%) and Swiss (-56%) business travelers are noticeably down, with bookings by Israelis (-21%) also dropping. These percentages are pre-pandemic.
Dutch business travelers seem to be a different market. Adara’s data shows that U.S hotels booked by the Dutch rose by 44% more than it was in the year 2019.
With those values, according to a report filed by Adara in the month of October, the speed and the duration of the industry along with the interest are still somehow dense. The urban areas on the other hand are showing positive signs of recovery.
“We expect these trends to continue to gain momentum,” it said.