Stats: Helsinki Top Trending Christmas Travel Destination in EU

Helsinki Finland
Photo by Getty Images

Helsinki is the top trending European Union (EU) visitors for long-haul visitors this Christmas, according to new research by ForwardKeys, a travel analytics firm that analyzes 17 million flight bookings and 7 million flight searches per day. The city has seen 29.6 percent growth in flight bookings over the period ranging from  December 15, 2019, through January 15, 2020, followed by Budapest, up 29.3 percent; Bucharest, up 28.4 percent; Lisbon, up 27.2 percent; Porto, up 26.5 percent; Athens, up 22 percent; Copenhagen, up 18.5 percent; Madrid, up 18.3 percent; Prague, up 16.5 percent; and Amsterdam, up 14.4 percent. 

Christmas bookings to EU countries from outside the Union are 11.0 percent ahead of where they were at the equivalent point last year, ForwardKeys said. However, not every destination is ahead; bookings to two of Europe’s most picturesque cities on the water, Stockholm and Venice, are behind by 23.1 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Stockholm is suffering since SAS stopped direct flights to and from Hong Kong last November and Venice has experienced a stalling in bookings from South Korea, the U.S., Russia and China. With the recent floods, a further slowdown is likely, according to the report. 

Helsinki’s growth is mainly attributable to great growth in festive forward bookings from China and Japan, driven by a substantial increase in capacity, ForwardKeys said. Budapest’s strong booking position is due to notable capacity growth on routes from New York and Tel Aviv. Bucharest’s boom is due to notable capacity growth over the last two years. Lisbon is benefitting from a new route, operated by Asiana, from South Korea, and Porto is profiting from an increase in flight capacity from Sao Paulo.

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.

The EU’s largest city destinations by market share are currently all showing very healthy bookings for the Christmas period, ForwardKeys said. The number one destination is London, with a 16.2 percent share and bookings 10.2 percent ahead of where they were at the equivalent point last year. It is followed by Paris, which has a 13.6 percent share and bookings 12.9 percent ahead. The next most visited cities will be, in order, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Milan and Munich

Looking at the most important origin markets for the EU, there is extremely healthy, above inflation, growth from six of the top seven, ForwardKeys said. Forward bookings for the Christmas period from the United States are 7 percent ahead; from South Korea, 15.1 percent ahead; from Brazil, 29.3 percent ahead; from Russia, 1.6 percent ahead; from Japan, 15.8 percent ahead; from China, 19.5 percent ahead; and from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, 3.6 percent ahead.

Related Stories

Stats: $52.7 Billion in Economic Impact From Cruises in 2018

Stats: Dominican Republic Tops Cancun for Thanksgiving Travel

Stats: Near-Record 55 Million People to Travel This Thanksgiving

Stats: 18% Would Rather Skip Thanksgiving Than Drive

Suggested Articles:

The USTOA asked when active members anticipate restarting operations in destinations around the world. Here's what they had to say.

The Moab Adventure Center offers new, private, eco-adventure tours and flightseeing in Moab, UT, in the midst of the "Arches and Canyonlands" region.

Last week, American Cruise Line introduced a new "look" for its Modern Riverboat-class of vessel. Check out our slide show of the design by Miami…