Uncle Sam’s Christmas Gift from the UK: Holidaymakers

Uncle Sam’s Christmas Gift from the UK: Holidaymakers

Since the last presidential election, one major segment of the economy has noticeably failed to keep up with global growth trends, Travel & Tourism. However, this Christmas, UK holidaymakers look likely to reverse a trend of declining interest in visiting the USA, reveals research release today (Monday 5 November) at World Travel Market London.

In the period since the current President took the office (Feb 2017 to Sep 2018), the number of international flight arrivals in the USA decreased by 1.5%, whereas the global average was an increase of 4.0%. Looking at a more recent period, the first three quarters of this year, international arrivals in the USA decreased by 1.0%; while the global average was an increase of 2.7%. However, the USA can expect a Christmas present from Britain, as UK Yuletide vacations in US cities seem set to surge.

Research released today, in to long-haul holiday plans, undertaken by ForwardKeys for the World Travel Market London, reveals that some destinations are Christmas crackers for the Brits – and the USA is one of them. Current bookings to Miami (+39.6%), Orlando (+14.3%) and New York (+2.9%) are well ahead of their 2017 levels.

Brits looking to fly long-distance for an overseas holiday this Christmas are mainly heading to “hot Christmas” destinations. The top 5 most trending cities for Christmas are places where long bouts of warm sunshine can be enjoyed.

“This is particularly good news for the US, which has registered a 3.3% decrease in air arrivals from the UK for the January to September period.” Said Olivier Ponti, Vice President Insights at ForwardKeys, which analyses more than 17 million booking transactions a day. “We see two main booking patterns – one seeking a ‘white Christmas’ and the other a ‘hot Christmas’, and bookings to the US are looking good for both categories. New York is the most popular ‘white Christmas’ destination, and UK visitors are increasingly seduced by Orlando’s theme parks and Miami’s beaches for a ‘hot Christmas’.

Other popular destinations, outside of the US, also good for hot beach holidays to escape the dreary winter weather, are Mumbai, Cancun, and Dubai, for which bookings are currently ahead by 36.3%, 22.3% and 14.4% respectively.”

Top 5 most trending long-haul Christmas destinations for UK travellers*

City Current booking situation vs. last year
Miami (US) +39.6%
Mumbai (IN) +36.3%
Cancun (MX) +22.3%
Dubai (AE) +14.4%
Orlando (US) +14.3%
*Cities receive more than 1.5% of current forward bookings from the UK to worldwide destinations. Bookings were made by 29th September 2018 for a departure during 21-27 December 2018, compared with 22-28 December 2017.

Paul Nelson, WTM Portfolio Press & PR Manager, said: “Heading to far-away climes for a festive break is an increasingly popular option for Brits. Indeed, an estimated 4.5 million jetted away over the Yuletide season last year. With just seven weeks to go until Christmas, it looks like being another bumper year for the travel industry as we fly off to sizzle in the sunshine.”

ForwardKeys Opens up the UK
5 November (10:30 – 11:30)
Press Conference Theatre – International Media Centre – ME580


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. The events are:


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.1 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 5-7 November 2018 – London.


Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 5–7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality. http://travelforward.wtm.com/.


WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 2-4 April 2019 – Sao Paulo.


WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.

Next event: 10-12 April 2019 – Cape Town.


Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com.

Next event: 28th April-1st May 2019 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. Reed’s events are held in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism events organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether they are global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.


More information, please contact:

Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager

E: paul.nelson@reedexpo.co.uk

T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510


Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive

E: natalia.hartmann@reedexpo.co.uk

T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)74 0336 7331


About ForwardKeys

ForwardKeys analyses more than 17m flight booking transactions a day, drawing data from all the major global air reservation systems and selected airlines and tour operators.  This information is enhanced with further independent data sets, including flight search and official government statistics, plus data science to paint a picture of who is travelling where and when. ForwardKeys’ analytics are used by travel marketers, retailers, hotels, destination marketing organisations (DMOs), financial institutions, car rental companies, tour operators, online travel agents (OTAs) and other traveller-focussed businesses worldwide to monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals from a particular origin market at a specific time.  This analysis enables parties to anticipate the impact of events, better manage their staffing levels, fine tune supply requirements, adjust and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and anticipate future market trends.


For further information, please contact Sophie Luis, Sophie.Luis@Tarsh.com on +44 (0) 20 7112 8556 or David Tarsh, David@Tarsh.com on +44 (0) 20 7602 5262.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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