Olympic fans are prepared to book up well in advance of the games and a new study for the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau proves that. Flight bookings to Rio have risen dramatically for the Olympic Games. It is 322% ahead of where they were at the same time last year, with the largest number of sports fans coming from the US and Argentina.
According to data from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day, issued air bookings show that the biggest spike is for arrival in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday 4 August, the day before the opening ceremony.
The Rio Olympics run from 5-21 August and the Paralympic Games from 7 to 18 September.
Overnight stays ‘on the book’ are currently 208% ahead for the Olympic and Paralympic Games period. 63% of international visitors arriving before the Olympics officially start will spend more than 14 nights, suggesting they are staying in Rio for the full extent of the games. In contrast, the same number (63%) of those arriving between 21 and 31 August will stay for fewer than 14 nights.
International bookings for the Olympic and Paralympic games period are threefold those of previous year, while among leading source markets, China, Japan and the US are showing the strongest growth.
The ForwardKeys analysis of international flight capacity data from Innovata shows that it is up 17% for the Olympic period compared to last year.
Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys said, Our analysis shows that bookings for the Olympics and the Paralympics are strong.
“One explanation for the high volumes from the US may be the move to relax visa conditions for the duration of the games, making it easier for American sports fans to travel to Rio.”
On the Zika virus, Olivier said that at this point there is no significant impact on travel to the Olympics.