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European cities see boom in arrivals from Asia

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Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona and Istanbul see big rises
Many cities in Europe are enjoying growing popularity among Asian tourists. Amsterdam and Milan have seen double-digit growth in 2015 year-to-date arrivals and forward bookings, while Munich is enjoying a 15.3% rise in arrivals for the first quarter and the attentions of Asian visitors from China, India, Japan and Taiwan.
ForwardKeys, which put together the research, measured overall growth in long-haul travel to Europe in Q1, which rose 3.9%, boosted by the cheaper euro, and forward bookings for the May to August period are 3.7% higher over the same time last year.
Amsterdam is seeing “disproportionately good performance” in leisure categories including group bookings, says Oliver Jager, ForwardKeys’ co-founder and chief executive. Milan, meanwhile, is benefiting from improved air access and “the upcoming World Expo, which is drawing particularly strong interest from China, with bookings 50% up on last year”.
Barcelona has also posted 12% growth for Q1, while Istanbul is up 10% in forward bookings, in part due to easier visa procedures for Chinese and Taiwanese tourists.
“While international tourists are getting better value for their money in Europe this summer thanks to the decline of the euro, strong demand from the Middle East (6.2% market share; 8% growth) and Asian regions (20.8% market share; 20.2% growth) also reflects the growing affluence of those origin markets and an increasing thirst for travel,” said Jager.
However, London appears to be losing its appeal, though it still holds top position in terms of absolute volume. Long-haul travel there has slipped 3.7% and on-the-book travel for May to August is 1.8% less year-on-year.
TTG Asia

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