Seychelles among top 20 destinations hit by booking cancellations from Russia |04 March 2022
Seychelles is among the top 20 destinations hard hit by booking cancellations from Russia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Latest data from ForwardKeys, one of the world's leading travel data and analytics company, reveals that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted an instant spike in flight cancellations to and from Russia.
Prior to the outbreak of war on Friday February 25, 2022, Russian outbound flight bookings for March, April and May had recovered to 32% of pre-pandemic levels, with some holiday hotspots doing exceptionally well. Seychelles was second on the list with flight bookings 279% ahead of 2019 levels, behind Mexico which had been leading the way with 427% ahead. Seychelles was followed by Egypt 192% ahead and the Maldives 115% ahead.
The outlook for travel during the summer months, July and August, was significantly stronger, as flight bookings stood at 46% of 2019 levels with Seychelles 275% ahead, the Maldives 78% ahead, and Egypt 216% ahead.
For Seychelles, Russian arrivals represent 18 percent of all international arrivals, so a collapse in Russian travel will have damaging consequences on the country’s tourism-dependent economy.
The other countries expected to suffer from the collapse are Armenia which depends on Russia for 47% of all visitors, Azerbaijan 44%, Uzbekistan 34%, Bulgaria 18%, the Maldives 15% and Cyprus 13%.
Still according to data from ForwardKeys, before the outbreak of war, Seychelles was ninth on the list of top 20 destinations most booked by Russian travellers in March, April and May. The right order of total bookings is as follows: Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UA|E), the Maldives, Thailand, Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, Armenia, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Hungary, Bulgaria, Mexico, Spain, Azerbaijan, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Qatar, Italy and Uzbekistan.
Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, said: “The outbreak of war always has a hugely damaging impact on the travel industry; and that is what we are seeing here, with mass cancellations in flight bookings to and from Russia. The Russian tourism economy was beginning to revive from the pandemic; and it will now experience another substantial blow. There will also be serious impacts on destinations that depend heavily on Russian visitors. The current data does not yet contain the impact of sanctions, which is bound to make the picture worse. Of course, should there be a cease fire and successful peace talks, the outlook for travel should improve. However, while the economic damage already looks set to be dreadful, it is nothing compared to the human suffering experienced by the people in the field.”
Compiled by Gerard Govinden