Regional forward bookings slowly ramping up, states travel analytics firm

The appeal of the Caribbean is slowly on the uptake, according to the most recent data from travel analytics firm ForwardKeys, revealing that for the first time since March, new bookings now overtake cancellations in the region.

From the period January 1 to June 21, the Caribbean saw a 57.7 percent decrease in bookings, with The Bahamas specifically experiencing 60.5 percent drop.

However bookings are on the incline again, according to ForwardKeys, which showed the Caribbean’s top source markets include the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; and data indicating that flight searches to Cuba and the Dominican Republic are the most searched for the first quarter of 2021.

Flight searches between May 1–30 show The Bahamas as the third most searched destination in the

Caribbean for Americans, behind Puerto Rico (1) and the Dominican Republic (2); and followed by Cuba (4) and Jamaica (5).

For Canada, The Bahamas is the fifth most searched destination behind Cuba (1), Dominican Republic (2), Guadeloupe (3), and Puerto Rico (4).

“The Caribbean destinations benefiting in new weekly tickets are ones that recently made the news about reopening soonest. In the case of Martinique, the travel distribution carries past the popular summer season and spikes again in October and even January 2021,” the analytic company noted in its just released resource on travel trends to the region.

The Bahamas opened its borders to international commercial flights on July 1, behind its regional counterparts which opened in some cases nearly a month earlier.

Since reopening the country has welcomed approximately 2,000 travellers.

While the government is hoping for a strong rebound in tourist arrivals to offset the economic crisis from COVID-19, with major hotels throughout the country delaying their reopening until later in the year, officials say they don’t expect high visitor numbers for a while.

“According to ForwardKeys’ air reservation data, the average number of days people book ahead is 110 days, just over three months. Furthermore, 58 percent of long haul international bookings for the fourth quarter to the region are made in September. Suddenly July has never had more of an important role in sales and marketing,” the company stated.

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