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Market Survey Reveals Travel Trends: Advance Booking and Destination Popularity Changes

Market Survey Reveals Travel Trends: Advance Booking and Destination Popularity Changes
photo: Amamolina / Flickr/Malaga
27 / 05 / 2024

The RAILTARGET editorial team has noticed some interesting travel trends. While some destinations have seen significant price drops, others have become new favorites. A more detailed analysis shows changes in travelers' buying habits. They now prefer flights booked with longer advance notice.

RAILTARGET editors received a press release from STUDENT AGENCY TRAVEL, which has published the results of a market survey on airline tickets. It compares data up to this April with that of last year for the same period. The report provides some interesting insights. While most destinations showed stagnant or slight price increases, some popular destinations such as Tokyo, Malaga, and Miami saw significant price decreases. New York was the most visited destination, overtaking Bangkok in the popularity rankings. Malaga was the year's biggest surprise.

According to analysis by STUDENT AGENCY TRAVEL, New York is the most popular destination in 2024, surpassing last year's leader, Bangkok. The top three most popular destinations now include Malaga, replacing Paris. A significant 26% reduction in fares to Malaga led to a 55% increase in sales, making it one of the top destinations. Additionally, Miami and Colombo are now among the top ten best-selling destinations. Prague is gaining strength in departures to New York.

As for the departure airport for this year's most popular destination, New York, 70% of passengers use Prague's Václav Havel Airport for their departure, an increase of 5% compared to 2023. Departures from Vienna are chosen by 12% of passengers, a decrease of 6% compared to 2023. Munich also saw an improvement, with 7% of passengers flying to New York, an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. RAILTARGET's editors were intrigued to learn that people are staying the longest in Bangkok.

The average length of stay for tickets to New York is 15 days, unchanged from 2023. For tickets to Bangkok, the average length of stay has increased to 20 days, compared to 19 days in 2023. The length of stay in Paris is also unchanged at 4 days in both 2023 and 2024. As for Malaga, the average length of stay in 2024 has fallen to 7 days compared to 8 days in the previous year.

"Travelers' buying habits are gradually returning to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic when travelers bought their tickets more in advance. This is especially true for tickets to more distant non-European destinations," says Lenka Kašická, Flight Manager at STUDENT AGENCY TRAVEL.

For example, for the top 3 best-selling destinations, the situation is as follows: 61% of tickets to New York are purchased 3 to 6 months before the scheduled departure. Tickets to Bangkok are most often bought 3 to 4 months before departure, accounting for more than 40% of travelers. In the case of Paris, 43% of passengers buy their tickets 2 to 3 months before departure, while 49% of clients buy their tickets to Malaga with a similar amount of advance notice.

"We advise passengers to check the fare conditions carefully when buying their tickets, especially concerning baggage. It is important to check whether the ticket price includes checked-in baggage or whether it is necessary to pay extra. For low-cost tickets, the price often includes only a small carry-on bag, such as a handbag or small backpack, and conditions vary from carrier to carrier," adds Lenka Kašická.