Tourism sector in Europe to continue its strong rebound in 2023: Report

 Friday, February 17, 2023 


Despite global challenges including soaring prices, the conflict in Ukraine and its ensuing energy crisis, and the impending economic slump, the forecast for travel to Europe remains encouraging. According to the most recent data, travel to Europe reached 75% of 2019 levels in 2022. Albeit at a reduced rate, this robust tourist revival is anticipated to last well beyond 2023. It is also anticipated that domestic travel will fully recover in 2024 while foreign travel to Europe will resume to pre-pandemic levels in 2025.

The “European Tourism: Trends & Prospects” report from the European Travel Commission (ETC) for the fourth quarter of 2022 offers a thorough examination of the most recent changes in the region’s tourism and macroeconomic conditions. This issue examines the sector’s ongoing problems and how they may affect future tourism outlook for 2023 and beyond.

Commenting following the publication of the report, Luís Araújo, ETC’s President, said, “Looking forward to 2023, we expect the tourism sector in Europe to continue its strong rebound. As European short-haul travel is well on its way to recovery, the tourism industry’s attention has now turned to long-haul arrivals.

In welcome news, we can expect the long-awaited return of Asia Pacific visitors in the coming months. As the industry navigates the many challenges it faces this year, it is vital that the sector continues to be receptive to consumer demand, improving the visitor experience at destination and targeting markets and segments less affected by economic slowdown.”

Despite the less optimistic economic forecast, a robust pent-up demand helped the European travel rebound last until 2022. After three years of Covid-19 lockdowns, travellers were anxious to go out for vacation, which likely resulted in an extension of the summer travel season due to excess savings during the epidemic.

In comparison to 2019, year-to-date data reveal that nearly one in every two reporting locations has regained more than 80% of its pre-pandemic international visitors. As the year came to a close, the southern Mediterranean destinations had the fastest rebound. High costs boosted the appeal of more cheap places, with tourists flocking to Türkiye (-2%), taking advantage of a weaker lira. Luxembourg (-4%), Serbia (-6%), Greece (-6%), and Portugal (-7%) are also getting close to 2019 levels.

Eastern Europe was the slowest to recover owing to the crisis in Ukraine and a lack of Russian visitors to places largely reliant on this market. The most dramatic drops are seen in Finland (-38%), Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania (all -42%).

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