ETC Reports Central & Eastern Europe Leading Tourism, Western Slowdown Evident

13 July 2012

Brussels - The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2012 - Trends & Prospects. The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website by clicking here.

The following gives a brief overview of the report for the first quarter of 2012.

  • European travel has exhibited resiliency in the early part of 2012 based on visitor data for the first few months of the year.
  • Air travel demand has also been encouraging, with European airline passenger growth exceeding 5% through mid-April.
  • However, there are signs of mixed performance and slowing throughout Europe.
  • While Central and Eastern European destinations have been performing well, quite a number of Western European destinations have posted declines in hotel occupancy in the first two months of the year. Overall, a slowdown is evident in hotel occupancy rates in most European sub-regions.
  • The global economy is being restrained by a mix of government austerity, household deleveraging, corporate caution, and high commodity prices. Meanwhile, data on economic activity indicate that the Eurozone is in mild recession and concerns are mounting regarding government debt.
  • Although only two months of data are available for 2012, relative strength is evident in major European source markets – implying greater internalising of travel in the region.
  • Russia remains a star performer in the early stages of the year. Struggles for the US market are continuing into this year, while Japan continues its resurgence.
  • As a new reference for destination strategy, this report includes a series of market share analyses for ten of Europe’s largest source markets. These market profiles reveal trends in total outbound travel, Europe’s share of the market over the past decade, and growth forecasts for each market. For example, Central and Eastern Europe have gained share of American long haul travel over the past decade, while Western Europe’s share has declined. However, the opposite shift has been observed for Russian travellers, with Western Europe destinations gaining share over the past decade.
  • Chinese tourist arrivals to Europe reached 4.3 million in 2011, representing 29.7% of the Chinese long haul outbound market. By 2015, Tourism Economics expects Chinese tourist arrivals to reach 5.7 million, representing cumulative growth of more than 30% over a four-year period.
The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website here.