ETC : Europe maintains strong tourist arrivals in 2018

Published on : Saturday, February 16, 2019

The latest report from the European Travel Commission mentioned that Europe is still the most visited region in the world. It saw a six per cent upswing in international tourist arrivals as compared in 2018  to the previous year.



Launched in 1948 the commission is an association of national tourism organisations to promote Europe as a tourists destination to long-haul markets.



Despite ongoing trade tensions and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, economic slowdown in Eurozone and China the reports showed growth.


All reporting destinations registered some form of expansion and travel to Turkey was up by 22 percent showing a strong recovery which was driven by a wide range of source markets and the depreciating lira.


Serbia was in the second position as the fastest growing destination due to visa-free access to Chinese passport holders. The arrivals was 15 per cent higher in the year-to-November as compared to the same period a year ago.



In 2018 there were significant outbound travel growth from the US and China.



Several economic factors facilitated the growth in the  US due to strong dollar against euro and sterling.  In China, 24 out of 30 destination countries saw an increase in the number of visitor due to air connectivity , expanding Chinese middle class and visa procedures.



Eduardo Santander, executive director of the ETC, said that despite adverse risks such as tensions in financial markets, uncertainty surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the worrisome forward-looking indicators, the European tourism industry has yet again proved resilient in 2018 which accounted for over half of worldwide tourist arrivals.



He predicted growth over around  three per cent in the international tourists arrivals in the region.



To support the drivers of sustainable growth and to promote long-term development in Europe, the challenge will provide an opportunity to reorient European and national policy.



In 2018, the destinations reported growth from the key source markets as the Brexit-related uncertainty will continue to have a negative impact on the sector.

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