London bookings for the period between July 1 and October 31 are 14 per cent ahead of where they were at the beginning of July last year, with the increase led by markets in the Americas (+21 per cent) and Asia-Pacific (+14 per cent), according to ForwardKeys.
ForwardKeys noted that the growth trend, evident from the first half of 2016, was further sparked by the sterling exchange rate falling to its lowest level in 30 years against the dollar in mid-October last year.
View of London's financial district
Only the Middle East is lagging, currently 20 per cent behind July-October in 2016, due mainly to a fall in oil price hurting Middle Eastern economies and the timing of Ramadan, which fell earlier this year.
Benchmarked against its European competitor cities, London has the biggest market share of longhaul bookings for arrivals between July and October at 12 per cent, versus nine per cent for Paris and seven per cent for Rome.
Bookings from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are returning. All show double-digit growth in forward bookings for London and, with the exception of India, their citizens are showing greater interest in London than the rest of Europe, ForwardKeys observed.
Looking at the more significant origin markets, i.e. those with a share of 0.5 per cent or more, Chile is the one showing the greatest growth in forward bookings, 67 per cent ahead. It is followed by Brazil (48 per cent ahead), Taiwan (43 per cent ahead) and China (35 per cent ahead).
Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys co-founder and CEO, said: “This is an obvious and clear demonstration of how currency fluctuations affect travel, even in the face of other significant factors. London is great value at the moment and people are springing at the opportunity for a holiday, costing less than they might have anticipated.”