The travel recovery is underway but remains fragile
Monday 19, April 2010
The report, compiled for ETC by Tourism Economics, shows that overnight visits to European destinations declined 6% in 2009 while international travel around the world fell an estimated 4.7% against the headwinds of the global recession.
However, signs of a travel recovery emerged in the final months of the year as economies around the world strengthened.
As the "great recession" gave way to economic life in the final quarter of last year, some European destinations posted visitor growth. And as 2010 begins, the trends established in the latter portion of 2009 are carrying into 2010. European airlines are reporting higher load factors due more to increased passenger numbers rather than cuts to capacity. Hoteliers have experienced higher occupancy rates across Europe and revenue is growing in the first quarter despite lower prices. Both of these trends point to renewed growth in tourist arrivals in the first part of 2010.
While the beginning of the recovery appears to be underway, European economic conditions remain fragile - especially in the labour market which will weigh on already weak consumption. Additionally, budget troubles across much of the region remain a concern.
In the short term, survey results from travel-related industries are all pointing toward growing demand over the next few months in comparison to the depths of the recession.
As the year progresses, the recovery will need to gain momentum if it is to compare favourably with last year. Visits to European destinations are expected to grow by 2.4% in 2010 and then accelerate to 3.8% in 2011, when 2008 visitor levels will finally be regained.
The full report can be downloaded from ETC's corporate website under the following link: http://www.etc-corporate.org/market-intelligence/reports-and-studies.html
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.