European tourism ready for sustained growth thanks to EU-China Tourism Year

Published on : Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tourists return to EuropeAs per the European Travel Commission’s latest report ‘European Tourism – Trends & Prospects’, all the famous destinations witnessed growth in visitor arrivals in the initial months of 2018.


Growth in tourism is supported by the great demand from intra-European and emerging source markets and a resilient economy.


Prospects continue to be positive and travel growth is expected to trend around +4& in 2018. Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of ETC mentioned that it is the key that tourism organizations continue to strengthen collaboration under a common European approach and positioning.


China still continues to fuel tourism arrival growths across European destinations assisted by its expanding middle class, rising airline connectivity and easier visa processes, together contributing largely to the surge of outbound travel from this market.


More than one in two reporting destinations noticed growth in Chinese arrivals based on early data for 2018.But then, these results do not yet reflect actual market demand as volumes are mainly dependent on the relatively late Chinese New Year (February 2018).


Serbia (+254%) and Montenegro (+153%) reported fastest growth, although from a lower base, partly owing to significant improvements in visa facilitation. Croatia and Poland were up 46% and 30% respectively, aided by increased promotional activities. Finland (+21%) also saw sustained growth benefitting from Finnair’s Asian strategy.


Turkey (+100%) reported a notable rebound in Chinese visitor arrivals. This recovery could be attributed to Turkey’s tourism strategy where diversification is the main theme, targeting destinations other than the traditional western nations to ensure tourism growth in the event of global or political challenges.


The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year is likely to further increase the visibility of Europe as a tourism locale in China and help sustain Europe’s inbound tourism market share. Despite a more moderate economic growth projected for 2018, Chinese tourist arrivals are expected at a significant level over the next four-year period, potentially at 7.5% a year on average.


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