ForwardKeys reveals this summer’s most popular city destinations

ForwardKeys’ Flight Search data has revealed the most popular city destinations this summer (July 1 to August 31) – Bangkok tops the list, with Paris on its heels.

As over 1.1 billion searches were analysed for the report, to make the list more digestible, ForwardKeys has produced the ranking indexed on the basis that Bangkok is 100.

Bangkok, Thailand tops the list as the most popular city destination this summer

The top twenty, in order, with their index values are Paris, 73; London, 72; Denpasar, 69; Barcelona, 68; New York, 61; Lisbon, 54; Istanbul, 52; Madrid, 52; Athens, 51; Palma Mallorca, 48; Singapore, 46; Tokyo, 45; Kuala Lumpur, 45; Amsterdam, 44; Copenhagen, 42; Los Angeles, 42; Rome, 39; Manilla, 34; and Frankfurt, 34.

Cities ranked 21 to 100 include Antalya, Berlin, Cancun, Cairo, Delhi, Dubai, Dublin, Ho Chi Minh City, Malaga, Marrakech, Miami, Milan, Punta Cana, San Francisco, Seoul, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Warsaw, Valetta, and Vienna.

Compared to last year, Bangkok is up three places, pushing Paris off the top spot, while London holds its position in third place. Bali’s capital, Denpasar, rose six places to the fourth spot, pushing Barcelona to fifth, Lisbon to seventh, Istanbul to eighth, Madrid to ninth and Palma Mallorca to 11th.

A new entrant in the top ten was Athens, up one place from 11th, while New York rose two places from eighth in 2022 to sixth this year. Risers that charged into the top twenty were Tokyo, up 53 places to 13th; Kuala Lumpur, up 24 places to 14th; Singapore, up 14 places to 12th; and Manilla, up eight places to 19th.

Their rise is principally explained by the late relaxation of Covid-19 travel restrictions, which triggered a surge in interest.

The top ten list of highest climbers are dominated by Asian and Australasian cities, which, last summer, were still subject to some of the strictest pandemic travel regulations. The highest climber is Taipei, up 161 places to 56th. It is followed by Hong Kong, up 129 places to 39th; Seoul, up 56 places to 35th; Tokyo, up 53 places to 13th; Hanoi, up 41 places to 76th; Auckland, up 41 places to 103rd; Melbourne, up 31 places to 75th; Ho Chi Minh City, up 30 places to 52nd; Kuala Lumpur, up 24 places to 14th; and Phuket, up 24 places to 57th.

In addition, analysis of ForwardKeys’ air ticketing database showed some interesting current trends. Throughout the pandemic and at the start of the recovery, leisure travel to beach destinations has been in the lead. However, that is now starting to change.

Compared to this time last year, summer flight bookings to beach destinations are 22% ahead; however, urban destinations are 42% ahead, nature destinations are 45% ahead and shopping destinations are the most ahead, up by 53%.

Read the full city destination index here.

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