European Tourism: 33 destinations report growth in tourism

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Europe saw a 7% growth in international tourist arrivals in the second quarter of 2018 over the same period last year and accounts for 50% of the share of tourist arrivals worldwide.

According to the European Travel Commission’s latest report, “European Tourism – Trends & Prospects 2018”, growth in visitor arrivals has been recorded by all 33 reporting destinations, with 1 in 3 enjoying increases in excess of 10%.

Despite signals of a slowing global economy and increased fuel prices expected to turn into higher air fares, appetite for travel to Europe remains and is encouraged by increased air routes between the region and key long-haul source markets and destination’s efforts to sustain year-round tourism growth.

Travellers are returning to Turkey (+33%) owing to improved perceptions. The rebound in visitor numbers is boosted by a range of source markets including China alongside the Turkey Year of Tourism in China. Growth in Balkan destinations such as Croatia (+27%) and Montenegro (+22%), was supported by increased air connectivity whereas Mediterranean islands, like Malta (+18%) and Cyprus (+15%), appear to have benefited from spurring cruise line traffic. Bulgaria (+12%) saw stand out growth due to its appeal and affordability during the shoulder season while Iceland (+6%) experienced a significant slowdown from previous years.

Established hotspots such as Spain (+2%) and Portugal (+4%), registered moderate increases and saw falls from some of their largest European source markets (e.g. UK and Germany). In the US, increased wages and private consumption are expected to underpin European travel demand. Growth from the US remains strong for many European destinations despite an environment of increased protectionism and a weaker dollar rendering travel to Europe less affordable. Cruise destinations, Cyprus, Montenegro, and Croatia saw increases in excess of 30% from this market based on latest 2018 data.

“In an ever-changing environment, ETC encourages European destinations to work collaboratively with tourism stakeholders and policy makers to develop strategic actions through innovative practices that allow for a more sustainable, economic and inclusive growth” said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director European Travel Commission (ETC).

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.