International tourist arrivals to Europe expected to grow 3.6% in 2019, ETC

Published on : Friday, July 12, 2019

Demand for tourism in Europe is expected to continue its momentum of growth in 2019 as per the quarterly report ‘European Tourism – Trends & Prospects 2019’ by the European Travel Commission (ETC). A growth rate of 3.6 per cent is predicted despite uncertain trade relationships between China and the US and a slowing Chinese travel demand. The expected growth of International tourist arrivals is in line with the annual historical average from 2008-2018, but lower than that of 2018 (6.1 per cent).




In terms of International tourist arrivals growth, the Balkan region was the top performer – Montenegro (+50 per cent), Slovenia (+8 per cent) and Greece (+8 per cent). This was possible due to the benefits of expanded tourism season and niche marketing. Montenegro has benefited from improved air transport accessibility and several promotional activities implemented by national tourism authorities.



For Slovenia, a recent win for Ljubljana and Bled (runner-up spot) at the ITB Berlin is indicative of the country’s efforts to attract travel demand. On the other hand, Iceland (-11 per cent), Romania (-7 per cent) and Estonia (-2 per cent) have reported a decrease up to April.




Globally, Europe has outperformed all other regions, posting 7 per cent growth in revenue per kilometre (RPK) in the first four months of the year compared to the previous year. This comes despite the pressure of increased demand and constrained air-traffic control capacity, which has had the impact of increasing possible delays and cancellations, which already had an estimated cost of 17.6 billion euros in 2018 to the EU economy.




Among Europe’s key long-haul source markets, the US and China continue to stand out in terms of their contributions to European tourism growth accounting for a share of 11 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Chinese travellers concentrated mainly in Southern/Mediterranean destinations: Montenegro (+150 per cent), Cyprus (+62 per cent), and Croatia (+44 per cent). Another fast-growing destination in terms of Chinese arrivals was Lithuania (+77 per cent). Interestingly, despite a possible slowdown of the American economy, Greece (+47 per cent), Turkey (+37 per cent), and Cyprus (+33 per cent) saw the most significant increases in arrivals from the US early in the year.



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