The global travel industry suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are signs of recovery, with travel demand increasing in many parts of the world.
According to VFS Global, the visa facilitator agency, several Schengen area countries are making significant policy changes to ease Schengen visa rules in order to meet high travel demand.
Here’s everything you need to know about the summer travel trends for 2023.
High Travel Demand in Traditional Tourist Destinations
Traditional tourist destinations such as the United States, European countries Switzerland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries have seen a significant increase in travel demand, according to Prabuddha Sen, Chief Operating Officer – South Asia, VFS Global.
Thailand is also experiencing an increase in travel demand as more people want to explore the country’s rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes.
Also Read: 12 Easiest Countries To Get A Schengen Visa
Policy Changes to Ease Visa Rules
To meet the high demand for travel, Schengen countries are making significant policy changes to ease visa requirements. Switzerland, in particular, is experiencing high demand for travel and has increased visa appointment slots to meet that demand.
According to Sen, “Right now, it has ample availability of visa appointment slots.”
Furthermore, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have lifted their visa application caps, allowing travellers to obtain visa appointments in as little as 2 to 3 days.
Besides that, Schengen area countries have increased the visa application period from three to six months before departure, allowing travellers to plan their trips well in advance.
Also Read: Schengen Visa: BLS to Continue Processing Visa Applications For Spain
Rising Visa Application Volume
VFS Global officials have reported an increase in visa application volume, with New Delhi alone accounting for nearly 80% of the 2019 pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
This trend of increased visa application volume from New Delhi is consistent with India’s overall growth, which was also close to 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022. When compared to 2021, the agency increased by 93%.
These policy changes are encouraging for the travel industry, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen concludes, “We witnessed unprecedented demand from India in 2022 which led to an extended peak outbound travel season with steady volumes witnessed until December. We are confident that the momentum will further grow, and hence it is advisable for applicants to apply for their visas in advance to avoid last-minute surprises.”
In conclusion, summer travel trends for 2023 are favourable, and travellers can anticipate relaxed visa requirements, ample visa appointment slots, and extended visa application periods. However, it is highly advisable that travellers should plan their trips ahead of time to avoid last-minute surprises.
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