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Europe’s Tourism Sector Continues to Grow in 2023 Due to Strong Travel Demand

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The latest data from the European Travel Commission (ETC) has revealed that Europe’s tourism recovery is continuing to grow, as it recently reached almost 95 per cent of 2019 international tourist arrivals.

According to the same source, although travelers have been facing economic problems recently, they have shown strong interest in traveling throughout this summer.

In this regard, the ETC report released last Friday shows that among the best-performing value-for-money destinations in Europe are the following countries:

  • Serbia (+27 per cent)
  • Bulgaria (+21 per cent)
  • Montenegro (+12 per cent)
  • Türkiye (+9 per cent)

Last year, the recovery in air traffic volumes was lagging behind consumer demand across Europe. However, now June data show that recovery is moving closer to levels of 2019. The increase has been driven by increased airline capacity on both European and foreign airline carriers, which will come to market in time for the summer months.

Based on the ETC report, European flight planning will also take a turn this summer, reaching its pre-pandemic levels with the planned seat capacity at 96 per cent. At the same time, International Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) also showed continued recovery, reaching 90.8 per cent of 2019 levels in April 2023.

Moreover, over half, or 52 per cent, of reported destinations have exceeded pre-pandemic levels of United States tourist arrivals so far this year.

“With continued high inflation and a potential recession weighing on American households, affordability will be a key factor in holidaymakers’ choice of travel destination within Europe,” ETC stated.

Southern Mediterranean destinations such as Portugal (+79 per cent), Türkiye (+78 per cent) and Montenegro (+43 per cent) have reported significant increases in arrivals from the US market.

Eastern European countries, as well as Latvia and Poland, also recorded an increase of +135 per cent +51 per cent, respectively. As for Latvia, this increase is related to the visits of friends and relatives from the Latvian diaspora living outside Europe.

Last week, the ETC revealed that the total number of Europeans planning trips from June to November 2023 was down four per cent compared to the previous year due to cost concerns.

The same emphasised that despite the decline, 69 per cent of Europeans still planned to make a trip during this period above. Among nationalities, Austrians have shown the highest level of reluctance to travel amid cost concerns, with only 45 per cent of respondents having travel plans. The Swiss take the second place with 56 per cent of respondents who want to travel and the Germans with 62 per cent.

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