The number of tourist visa applications in January 2023 has seen an explosive rise in comparison to last year. Applications are generally also being submitted well before departure, indicating that travellers are confident COVID-19 will not cause any issues.
Figures from the CAA show that flights were down 23% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to pre-pandemic numbers. However, visa agency e-Visa.ie noticed a turning point being reached last month. Based on recent visa application numbers, the visa agency expects travel to be back to normal in 2023.
Travel limitations not decisive for many travellers
It is noteworthy that the rise in visa applications is not just due to travel limitations being lifted. Several destinations had already dropped most of their limitations in the winter of 2021/2022. Take Egypt and Kenya as an example. To travel to these countries in January 2022, all that was required was a vaccination certificate or test result. However, the number of visa applications for those countries was down almost 50% compared to pre-pandemic numbers. A general sense of unease about the future played a major part in this.
This downward trend has since turned. According to recent numbers from visa agency e-Visa.ie, the number of visa applications for Egypt and Kenya in January 2023 has more than doubled compared to the same month a year ago. The most likely reason for this rise is that travellers are no longer concerned that the coronavirus will impact their travel plans.
Time between visa application and departure date
This increased sense of trust is also confirmed by another indicator. e-Visa.ie monitors how long before departure visa applications are submitted. In January 2022, visa applications were on average being submitted two weeks closer to the listed departure date compared to pre-pandemic applications. In January 2023, the average time between submitting a visa application and the departure date was back at its old level. The fact that tourists are once again submitting their visa applications well in advance of their holiday suggests that they are not particularly concerned about COVID-19 impacting their travel plans.
Spectacular rise New Zealand, Australia and India
The rise in visa applications is even more spectacular for destinations that still had strict entry requirements in January 2022. Prime examples are New Zealand, Australia and India. After gradually relaxing their coronavirus rules throughout 2022, the number of visa applications for these destinations has increased more than sixfold in just a year’s time.
Percentage increase in visa applications for various destinations
Percentage increase in the number of visa applications in January 2023 compared to January 2022
Remember your visa when travelling
More and more Brits are making plans for faraway trips. Applying for the required visa remains an important part of travel preparations. This can always be done directly at an embassy or consulate, but many travellers prefer to let a professional visa agency take care of all the hassle.
Visa agency e-Visa.ie is happy to help you with your application. Are you, for example, travelling to Kenya? Then you can easily apply for your visa with the simplified application form on this website. All the required details and documents can be submitted digitally. e-Visa.ie will always check your application and point out any errors or omissions, allowing them to be corrected in time. This will ensure that your application is processed without any problems, allowing you to enjoy a wonderful holiday.