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In a period of uncertainty for the travel industry, LATA reveals UK booking figures to Latin America

Through its research with travel intelligence experts ForwardKeys, the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) has been able to gain valuable insight into the travel trends affecting tourism to Latin America based on air reservations.

The latest statistics demonstrate a slowdown in outbound tourism numbers

period for both the global and Latin American travel industry although LATA highlights a number of destinations that are flourishing in the early stages of 2020.

According to the latest instalment of statistics, the total number of international departures from UK airports has declined by 3.9% YOY between February 2019 and January 2020. Meanwhile future departure bookings over the next three months is down internationally by 5.0% compared to the same period of last year. Perhaps this is as of a direct result of one of the biggest trends impacting the travel industry; Coronavirus. While Latin America remains widely unaffected by the epidemic (at time of writing), there is an overwhelming sense of uncertainty in British travellers as areas in the Far East and Europe are blighted by rising Coronavirus cases and FCO travel restrictions that are imposed as a result. Latin America is expected to show some resilience over the next three months with UK visitor arrivals at -5.3% YOY, which is fairly consistent with the aforementioned 5.0% global drop in UK arrivals.

Despite the uncertain travel climate, there are a number of Latin American destinations that have performed well over the last 12 months and that are projected to continue performing well. One such example is Guyana which registered a whopping 17.7% YOY increase in visitor arrivals from the UK between February 2019 and January 2020. The little-known South American nation shows little sign of slowing down with a 21.3% YOY increase in future departure bookings for the next six months. Guyana is a destination that is doing its upmost to sustainably manage its tourism industry and with sustainable travel being a hot trend in 2020, perhaps it is no surprise that Guyana is registering impressive figures. Another destination that has been widely commended for its sustainable tourism initiatives is Belize which has recorded a 7.8% YOY increase in UK arrivals between February 2019 and January 2020. Sustainable destination management and impressive tourism figures are not the only characteristics that Belize and Guyana share as they are the only two countries that speak English in Latin America.

Nicaragua continues its revival on the international tourism stage following the attempted coup that saw foreign travel advice bureaus impose heavy restrictions on travel to the country. Since many of those restrictions have been lifted, Nicaragua has seen a surge in arrivals, especially so from the UK with the last six months all registering increases compared to the previous year (181.9%, 183.3%, 223.5%, 183.7%, 20.6%, and 108.7% from August 2019 to January 2020 respectively). This has been further helped by Nicaragua’s inclusion in many leading travel publication hotlists such as The Daily Mail, Travel Weekly, and Wanderlust which may have contributed to the 93.2% YOY spike in future departure bookings over the next six months. This could also be true of the smallest country in South America, Uruguay, which since being included in ABTA’s destinations to watch for 2020 has recorded a 9.6% YOY growth in future booking departures from the UK between February and July 2020.



Editorial Notes:

For more information on visitor statistics from the UK to Latin America, please email or contact Kate McWilliams, George Leonard or Amber Martin at LOTUS (020 7953 7470).

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