Despite the uncertain economic environment, European travel showed resilience in the first half of this year, according to the latest quarterly report on European Tourism by the European Travel Commission. Air travel continues to show encouraging signs, with airline passenger growth in Europe around 6% through to mid-June, while load factors have strengthened.
Of course, the global economy is restrained by government austerity and softening export demand with indicators suggesting most major economies are slowing. This backdrop is not yet causing significant falls in tourism demand, but the trend is of slowing growth. There are signs of mixed performance and slowing throughout Europe, the report says.
Hotel data show a mixed performance. While Central and Eastern European destinations perform well, a significant number of Southern European destinations have recorded falls in hotel occupancy during the first half of the year. Latvia recorded the highest, with a 14.9% increase in international arrivals for the year to date by March. It also tops in international nights with a 17.8% increase. Poland, Iceland, Serbia, Spain and Russia also reported good growth.
Elsewhere, demand in Japan continues to recover and the struggle for US market share continues.
Travel Industry Wire
[pictured: Skeppsholmen, Stockholm; photo by Nicho Södling/imagebank.sweden.se]