a bridge over a river with a clock tower in the background

The UK is in transition, but through the end of the year it enjoys the privileges of being in the EU. Someone should probably tell potential visitors, because they’re already looking elsewhere in droves. World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) data which shows that of all the major cities in Europe, London is the only city experiencing a precipitous drop in demand, in relation to other cities, at least for summe travel.

In fact, it went from first on the top ten list, to tenth.

Europe’s Top Ten Cities For Summer Travel

The WTTC crunched the data for holiday demand for international travel between June 1st-June 14th, comparing 2019 to 2020. Obviously, there are quite a few extraordinary factors at play – cough, covid-19 – but the data shows clear trends nonetheless: Paris, Rome and Amsterdam were favorites last year and still are, but London is out.

Barcelona fell from 5th to 9th, Munich fell from 10th to somewhere beyond ten, but no city in the top ten experienced a greater drop in demand than London.

a screenshot of a screenObviously, There Are Other Factors, But…

Obviously, covid-19 related factors and actualized threats of a 14 day government imposed quarantine for all visitors and returning residents played a significant part, but the quarantine did not take effect until the second week of the sample. The data goes to show how much uncertainty can affect travel bookings. Holidays are precious, and people go where there are clear signals of being welcomed, and where safety exists.

With Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam, Athens and Rome claiming the top five spots for 2020, the data shows exactly this. Each city mentioned is in a country where clear plans for the reopening of tourism were made early, stating exactly what measures would be in place to protect safety and who would be eligible to join.

a graph with a line going downLooking beyond this tricky time, the data remains the same. Europe experienced an overall 84.4% drop in travel demand, while the UK experienced a 96.7 percent drop. Basically, people are making future bookings based on what they know, and with nothing but talks of air bridges announced in recent weeks, the UK has left too much limbo for potential bookers looking to visit from outside the country.

That blue wave – aka demand for European travel – is beginning to peak again, but UK demand is as flat as a pond on a still summer day. Here’s the latest information on all the border openings across Europe, and who’s allowed in…


Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. 2 week quarantine is probably the major contributor to the precipitous decline of London, so really no surprise there…!

  2. I wouldn’t put very much credence in this and other reports of travel patterns, essentially meaningless until there is a true return to travel, having said that granted that return will look much different than before the virus out break. We were seriously thinking of hopping over to London for a week had it not been for the resurgence of the virus here in the US and if England opened back ups. I am sure there are many of others with the same thought. SO there you go.

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