European Tourism Gets off to a Good Start Amid Uncertainty



European Tourism Gets off to a Good Start Amid Uncertainty
Rue du Marché aux Herbes 61 - 1000 Brussels - BELGIUM
tel +32 2 - 548 9000 fax +32 2 - 514 1843
[email protected] /
Brussels, 4 May 2016. Tourism performance in Europe continues on a positive footing in 2016
following the 5% increase in international tourist arrivals registered last year. However, safety
and security concerns and developments in travel facilitation call for closer monitoring to assess
the impact on tourism in the mid-term.
According to the latest European Travel Commission (ETC) “European Tourism 2016 – Trends &
Prospects”, a vast majority of destinations reported positive results in the first two months of the
year in both overnights and arrivals. Top performers were Slovakia (+30%), Serbia (+24%) and
Romania (+20%) recording double-digit growth. Among large destinations, substantial growth
was posted by Spain (+13%), reflecting their efforts to fight seasonality, trailed by Austria and
Germany (both +5%). Conversely, Turkey (-8%) saw a shrinking growth from its key source
markets attributable to political and safety and security challenges.
“Tourism is one of Europe’s most important industries and it constitutes a powerful tool to foster
economic development and employment growth. Amidst increased competition and unpredictable
events, European leaders within the sector are called to jointly co-operate to enhance the visibility
of Europe and safeguard its image as an appealing and welcoming tourist destination” said
Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of ETC.
Travel demand from long-haul markets remains paramount for tourism growth
Positive economic indicators continue to support growth from the US, accounting for 5% of the
share of tourist arrivals to Europe. China remains the second largest non-European source
market despite concerns of its slowing economy or the implementation of the Biometric visa
hampering outbound travel. For this market, tourist arrivals to Europe are projected to reach 12
million in 2016 . Meanwhile in Japan, raising real wages are expected to contribute positively to
consumer spending. Positive data from the key long-haul markets should be interpreted with
caution as the aftermath of recent terror attacks in Europe have yet to be observed in the coming
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Tourism Economics
Travel demand from Russia continues to taper with more than half of reporting destinations
recording negative figures at the beginning of the year. With an economy in recession, falling oil
prices and a weakened Rouble growth in tourism demand from this market is not expected in the
near future while across the Atlantic, Brazil’s economy struggles to pull out of recession.
The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website under the following link: under the category “Trends Watch in Research”.
Note to editors:
The European Travel Commission is an association of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs). It was
created in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourism destination to the long-haul markets outside Europe,
originally in the USA and later in Canada, Latin America and Asia. It currently has 33 member NTOs,
including 8 from outside the European Union.
Europe is the world's No. 1 tourist destination with 608 million international arrivals and more than 50% of
the market share of worldwide tourism.
Contact: ETC Executive Unit - Rue du Marché aux Herbes 61 - 1000 Brussels - BELGIUM.
T: + 32 2 548 9000 F: + 32 2 514 1843 e-mail: [email protected]
For further information: the ETC’s corporate website is aimed at industry,
government and educational personnel interested in tourism to Europe.
Tourists seeking travel-specific information and ideas are directed to the ETC’s consumer portal

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