A recent survey claims that more than 52% of the UK bookings volume for pre-pandemic summer holidays has already been achieved, with more than 25% of those bookings headed for summer sun in Spain.  Given the uncertainty around mainland Spain at the moment, it is thought the vast majority of these tickets to fly this summer are for the islands, including in particular Europe’s only sub-tropical destination, The Canary Islands.  The survey also points to a more than 60% recovery on 2019 tourism numbers.  Great news for Gran Canaria!


Travel analytics firm ForwardKeys, say they have observed a surge in issued tickets from the UK following the British Government’s recent announcements. Among the most resilient destinations within the EU are Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

“The European destinations that have announced their willingness to welcome UK tourists have been favoured the most at the moment,” said Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys, adding that “Spain accounts for the biggest share in terms of travel volumes this summer, 25% of total tickets to international destinations”.

It is not just Spain and The Canary Islands that are showing favourable data, tickets to travel to Greece, for instance, while not quite as many bookings as Spain between July and September, have actually exceeded their 2019 levels by 12%. “An amazing performance, especially considering that the recovery of tickets to EU destinations, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, is at 52%,” said Ponti.

No doubt, all eyes will be on when the UK PM’s expected announcement regarding travel restrictions is made, closer to the pre-set “earliest” date of May 17, and conditions for outbound UK travellers.

Grant Shapps already commented last week that The Canary Islands will be assessed separately from mainland Spain, and said he fully expected the islands to be included on the travel green list.

The UK tourist market is huge, representing 70M of the outbound trips in Europe during 2019, mainly for holidays (76%). This represented around £40bn worth of spending, according to the UK Office for National Statistics.

An April 2021 UK travellers survey by leading strategic technology and payments partner Global Blue, reveals that affluent shoppers (with spending budgets  in excess of £1k) will be the first to restart travelling, as 36% are planning to take a trip this summer vs. 25% of less affluent shoppers. And that most of these UK affluent travellers (57%) are willing to spend more thanks to the new rules on Tax-Free eligibility.

More information about the impact of Brexit and Tax-Free Shopping on the European travel retail sector is due to be revealed at the free Global Blue webinar on April 29 with guest speakers from ForwardKeys and Heuritech.

Register here: http://info.globalblue.com/public/event/RegistrationForm/424451417448445F457340