Tourism in Europe sees better times conquering security threats

Published on : Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tourism in EuropeEurope continues to attract scores of international travelers, which speaks about the tourism sector’s spirit against geopolitical uncertainty and threats of safety and security.

According to the latest European Travel Commission’s “European Tourism 2017-Trends & Prospects”, 28 out of 30 reporting destinations recorded growth so far in 2017. Among them, one in two reported double-digit growth led by Iceland (+56%), which is the fastest growing destination.

Other robust growth destinations are Montenegro (+25%); Malta (+23%); Cyprus (+18%); Finland (+18%) and Bulgaria (+17%). The increase in Chinese arrivals boosted tourism growth in Finland. Portugal, Serbia and Croatia (all +15%) also did well, helped by strong marketing efforts and improved air connectivity. Turkey (-8%), however, continues to face security challenges that are decreasing the rate of expansion in the country.

Improved economic conditions in the Euro zone seem to be a key factor behind the growth in arrivals from Germany, France and Italy. Most European destinations saw extraordinary increases from the UK. Croatia and Bulgaria enjoyed the fastest growth, more than 40% and 26%, respectively from the UK market.

All reporting destinations rebounded from previous falls in Russian travel demand. Although figures do not fully offset the falls registered in previous years, prospects remain optimistic as the Russian economy continues to improve.

In the US outbound market, economic growth and favourable fares contributed to a strong performance, which is expected to increase 6% per year on average through 2021.
Travel flows from China and Japan to Europe were weaker than overall outbound travel from these markets due to safety and security concerns across the continent. However, both markets are estimated to have increased +14% and +5% respectively so far in 2017.

“Despite a stable European domestic market, growth is also driven by long-haul source markets. Cheap oil prices, favourable currency exchanges, raising middle classes, improved air connectivity and travel facilitation, are contributing significantly to the surge of outbound travel to Europe,” said European Travel Commission (ETC) executive director Eduardo Santander.


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