2023 Summer Air Travel

ForwardKeys Reveals 2023 Summer Air Travel Trends: USA Takes the Lead

Leading travel analytics company, ForwardKeys, has unveiled six significant trends in global air travel for the summer, based on an analysis comparing this year’s data to 2019 and 2020 figures.

The USA emerged as a dominant force in both inbound and outbound travel. It topped the list of most visited countries, attracting 11% of all international visitors this summer. Furthermore, the USA led the outbound travel market with an 18% share of scheduled flight bookings.

Despite most countries witnessing a surge in travel compared to last year, many are yet to reach their pre-pandemic levels. The US, for instance, was just 1% down from its 2019 volumes. In contrast, countries like China and Japan were down by 67% and 53%, respectively.

summer 2023 destination ranking

The Far East is showing signs of revival. South Korea, China, and Japan, all displayed triple-digit growth rates compared to 2022. Despite its slow recovery, China’s massive market size placed it seventh in the rankings.

Beach destinations showcased resilience throughout the pandemic. Countries renowned for their beaches, such as Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Greece, exceeded their 2019 summer figures. The heatwave across Europe, which led to wildfires in Greece and Portugal, had a limited impact on tourism, with most vacations already booked.

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights at ForwardKeys, commented on the findings, emphasizing the significant role US travelers played in supporting many destinations during the pandemic. He expressed optimism for the upcoming quarters, noting that global flight bookings for the last quarter of the year are only 4% behind 2019, with the first quarter of 2024 already 3% ahead.

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