- eDreams ODIGEO reports a surge in longer-haul flight bookings, diverging from the trend of shorter hauls seen late last year.
- Bangkok, New York, Tokyo, Istanbul, and Bali have emerged as popular long-haul destinations among European travelers.
- A shift in booking behaviors is noted, with more reservations made well in advance compared to the previous year’s trend of last-minute bookings.
Catalonia, Spain–eDreams ODIGEO SA, an international flight and hotel booking platform based in Barcelona, published its latest findings on customers’ travel trends worldwide in a report on February 7.
Shifting Travel Preferences
In the report, the company stated that their latest data shows a steep increase in customers (predominantly from Europe and North America) booking longer-haul flights compared to late last year when most travelers sought destinations closer to home.
“We’re starting to see more long haul destinations in the top 10 searches,” said Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO SA, in the report.
He added that Bangkok, New York, Tokyo, Istanbul, and Bali were among the most popular searched destination by European travelers this year.
According to Dunne, opening up borders and easing COVID mandates worldwide (most recently in China) is expected to significantly affect global travel, including longer hauls and bookings made long before departure.
Insights from ‘Year in Travel 2022’
The travel agency released its annual ‘Year in Travel 2022’ report in early October last year, an analysis of its consumer search and booking data over the year that offers indications on the future of global travel trends.
This report found that, although there was a significant opening up of travel worldwide, there was an obvious preference for shorter haul flights, with travelers restricting their trips within the transatlantic region (as of October).
Another trend that seems to be shifting this year is an increasing number of bookings made well ahead of expected travel dates. Also, per the ‘Year In Travel 2022,’ a large number of travelers (45%) made bookings less than 15 days before the date of departure.
Dunne hypothesizes that frequently changing travel routes throughout the pandemic led travelers to book last minute, compared to this year, where a growing number of airlines are increasing their frequency for longer haul flights to exotic locations.
He added that the length of planned trips has remained unchanged since last year, with most travelers planning trips of two to four days. Per reports, this could indicate the shifting work culture toward remote/hybrid models.
What We Think
eDreams ODIGEO’s findings indicate a significant shift in travel preferences, with a notable increase in long-haul flight bookings after a period dominated by shorter trips.
The data highlights a renewed interest in far-flung destinations and a departure from the earlier emphasis on closer-to-home travel. This change, influenced by eased COVID mandates and opened borders, signifies a potential revival of global travel patterns.
The shift towards early bookings suggests growing confidence in travel plans, possibly reflecting a more stable and predictable travel environment compared to the uncertain scenarios during the pandemic’s peak.
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