European Travel Will Not Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels Until 2024

 Wednesday, November 10, 2021 


Even though European travel demand has recently increased due to the high vaccination rates, volumes are still far compared to the pre-pandemic period and are not expected to reach the latter until 2024.

Such conclusions have been reached through the European and Tourism Trends and Prospects quarterly report conducted by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which analyzes the impact of the current COVID-19 situation in the travel and tourism sector


According to the report, despite the notable increase in the number of international tourists in European countries during the peak summer season, international tourist arrivals to this continent are predicted to be 60 per cent below 2019 figures by the end of this year.

In addition, the report has found that European tourist arrivals are still down 77 per cent halfway, compared to 2019 figures.

From our latest ‘European Tourism Trends & Prospects’ quarterly report, it is clear to see the critical role vaccination programmes have already played in helping travel rebound.

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout was vital to the easing of entry requirements and boosting the appeal of travel during the summer season. However, vaccination efforts won’t be enough, ETC’s President, Luís Araújo, pointed out in this regard.

Araújo has also stressed that as winter months approach, it is very important that Europe continues to restore the freedom of movement by imposing more coherent approaches for travel within as well outside the European Union.

Recently, ETC revealed that more Europeans plan to travel during the next six months. The report stressed that two-thirds of European citizens intend to travel during the autumn and winter season, which shows a positive trend for tourism in the EU.

European countries’ high vaccination rates against the virus permitted citizens to enjoy a stronger than expected summer season.

In addition, according to ETC, the launching of the EU Digital COVID-19 certificate has also helped ease the travel process and permit fully vaccinated citizens to travel more freely to other countries.

According to ETC, as a result, intra-regional travel experienced an increase, accounting for 85 per cent of European international arrivals this year, up from 77 per cent recorded in 2019.

The report highlighted that Greece delivered the strongest rebound in overnight terms, even though international arrivals were weak. The most profound increase in arrivals from 2019 rates was noted in Croatia, which welcomed 1.9 million tourist arrivals in September.

On the other hand, Czechia recorded the sharpest decrease, mainly resulting from strict entry rules imposed to stop the further spread of the virus.

Even though European travel has made positive progress during this year, ETC has stressed that there is still a long road ahead because international tourist arrivals to Europe were still down 77 per cent halfway through the year.

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