Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

UK Tops European Hotspot List for U.S. Travelers

3 months ago

American tourists are flocking to the UK over other European destinations, new data shows.

Post-Covid pent-up demand has collided with the strong dollar, according to the latest figures from travel agency Trip.com, with a 678 percent surge in searches for U.S. to UK flights in the first six months of 2022, compared to the same period last year.

Overall, its inbound transatlantic booking data showed actual bookings from the U.S. to Europe increased 246 percent.

Booking values are up by 37 percent.

Spain came a close second regarding consumer interest, with a 614 percent increase in flight searches from the U.S., followed by Italy (577 percent) and France (491 percent.)

Trip.com’s Americas chief said travelers appeared to be taking advantage of the weaker European currency.

“We believe the increased value of the strong U.S. dollar versus the weaker euro and fall in the value of Pound Sterling means that US travelers have so much more buying power in Europe, which has helped to mark the continent’s return once more as a major destination for the U.S. market,” said Rich Sun, Trip.com Group’s general manager for the Americas.

The difference in value translates to a 10-15 percent discount, compared to the same time last year.

Online Travel

Booking Holdings Faces a Challenge Because of the Euro’s Fall

5 months ago

Much of the attention regarding the euro’s historic fall has focused on Americans getting cheaper vacations in Europe — and the converse for EU residents — but the euro’s reaching parity with the U.S. dollar obviously has business consequences too — and Booking Holdings will likely have to deal with a material adverse impact.

In a research note Wednesday, Jake Fuller of BTIG wrote that he expects an “11 point headwind” to Booking’s growth in bookings in second quarter results and through the rest of 2022 because of volatility in the euro and British pound.

Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport source reuters
Passengers of a flight from Amsterdam wearing protective face masks arrive at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, following the easing of measures against the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece, June 15, 2020. Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

BTIG estimated that Booking Holdings generates about 55 percent of its bookings in Europe. The company doesn’t break out the percentage. “Within Europe, we assume an 85-15 split between the euro and British pound,” the note said.

Booking Holdings’ exposure to the euro “is likely material, should impact the 3Q guide, and does not appear to be reflected in consensus numbers for the year,” the research note added.

Geography has played a major role in how various online travel agencies fared during the pandemic.

Expedia Group benefited throughout much of the pandemic when the U.S. domestic travel market boomed, particularly for stays in vacation rentals.

On the other hand, Booking Holdings suffered because Europe was slower to rid itself of lockdowns than the U.S., and now Booking has to cope with the euro falling to a low it hasn’t seen in two decades.

From a variety of reports, Booking Holdings appeared to be gaining market share in June, but the euro crisis could blunt some of the progress.

Tourism

Weak Euro Means Dollar Will Go Further for Americans Vacationing in Europe

5 months ago

The value of the euro is plummeting and that means Americans vacationing in Europe will see their dollars going further, CNN reported.

Three tourists with a selfie stick at Rome’s Trevi Fountain
Three tourists with a selfie stick at Rome’s Trevi Fountain

The euro’s falling means the dollar and euro are almost at parity, and “the UK pound is also weak: It’s exchanging at $1.20,” the report said.

That means more expensive vacations for Europeans and British.

Even if the dollar is strong, though, compared with the euro and pound, hotel prices across Europe in May were soaring in some countries compared to May 2019 before the pandemic.

Average daily rates in May 2022 were up in Italy (23 percent), Ireland (21 percent), and Spain (17 percent) compared with the same period in 2019, according to STR Global.

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