Postado em quarta-feira, 22 de maio de 2024 10:53

European tourism continues to thrive in 2024, with record-breaking travel expenditure on the horizon despite challenges.

The European tourism industry is experiencing a strong recovery in the first months of 2024, according to the latest edition of the European Tourism Trends and Prospects quarterly report, released by the European Travel Commission (ETC).

The report, which monitors the performance of European tourism in the first quarter of the year and the macroeconomic and geopolitical factors impacting the industry’s outlook on the continent, reveals that foreign tourist arrivals (+7.2 per cent) and nights (+6.5 per cent) in the first quarter of the year have surpassed 2019 figures.

The recovery is largely driven by robust intra-regional travel, fuelled by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, coupled with demand from the US, which remains Europe’s most important long-haul source market.

This continues the upward trend observed in 2023, which saw foreign arrivals just 1.2 per cent below 2019 levels and nights only 0.2 per cent below.

Miguel Sanz, ETC’s President, says: “The early figures for 2024 reveal a positive outlook for European tourism this year. Consumer travel spending is set to rise notably across Europe, hitting record numbers in the coming months.

“This boost will support the travel and tourism businesses heavily impacted by the pandemic years and ongoing economic instability. Still, high prices and geopolitical risks remain key hurdles for tourism, as the sector as a whole also strives to adopt more responsible practices to benefit the locals and preserve the environment.”

The recovery, however, is not uniform across all regions and source markets. Southern European destinations, such as Serbia (+47 per cent), Bulgaria (+39 per cent), Turkey (+35 per cent), Malta (+35 per cent), Portugal (+17 per cent), and Spain (+14 per cent), are leading the recovery in terms of international visitor numbers compared to 2019 levels.

These destinations offer competitively priced holiday experiences, often combined with milder winter temperatures. Nordic countries, particularly Norway (+18 per cent), Sweden (+12 per cent), and Denmark (+9 per cent), are also witnessing an uptake in tourist activity, partially driven by winter sports tourism and the allure of the Northern Lights.

In contrast, countries in the Baltic region continue to lag behind due to challenges caused by the war in Ukraine, with Latvia registering the lowest post-pandemic international arrivals (-34 per cent), followed by Estonia (-15 per cent) and Lithuania (-14 per cent).

Despite the challenges posed by inflationary pressures and geopolitical uncertainties, consumer demand remains strong. Online social conversations surrounding travel in Europe have overwhelmingly positive tones, surpassing discussions about other global regions such as the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific in early 2024.

Highlights include praise for seasonal beauty, outdoor adventures, and unique cultural events like Carnival celebrated across European countries.

Consumer data also shows that travel remains a top priority in 2024, with both intra-European and long-haul tourist spending increasing in early 2024. Forecasts indicate that travellers will spend €742.8 billion in Europe this year, a 14.3 per cent increase compared to 2023, with Germany accounting for 16 per cent of total spend in Europe in 2024.

The summer of 2024 is set to bring two major sporting events to Europe: the Olympic Games in France and the UEFA European Football Championship in Germany. These events are expected to drive significant demand in their respective host countries, with inbound spending growth projected at 13 per cent for Paris and 24 per cent for all of France on 2019 levels.

The Euros, taking place across ten cities in Germany, are expected to offer a more dispersed benefit, with all participating cities poised to experience a significant rise in tourism revenue.

As the European tourism industry continues to recover and adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic and ongoing economic instability, the focus remains on adopting more responsible practices to benefit local communities and preserve the environment while catering to the ever-growing demand for unique and memorable travel experiences.


by Olivia Palamountain | GLOBETRENDER