The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer* produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys highlight a recovery for International arrivals in Europe on Q4 2016, marked by Intra European flows’ return to flat performance and good progress of long haul travellers.
Number of long haul travellers increased by 3.9% in Q4 2016 compared to Q4 2015
All International arrivals in Europe grew by 1.4%, especially fuelled by the surge of North America while Intra European flows stalled. The more beneficial exchange rate of the USD vs. Euro and GBP could be behind this very positive performance. Central & South American regions show a highly positive trend helped by visa waivers to countries such as Peru since March or Colombia since January 2016, the two fastest growing countries in the region.
Intra European flows, accounting for 60% of arrivals in Europe as per ForwardKeys database, have returned to a flat performance after four consecutive negative quarters.
Asia & Oceania and Africa have interrupted the previous negative trend of Q2 and Q3 2016 vs 2015. This is most likely related to the comparison with a very troubled Q4 2015 in Paris. Concerns over security affected all of Europe, as combined trips among its cities are very popular for long haul visitors.
Booking situation depicts a positive scenario for Q1 2017 compared to Q1 2016
Chinese New Year is taking centre stage as a major trigger for Chinese travel, pushing Asia & Oceania share to 15%. Central & South America maintain their rising path in bookings, following a successful Q4 2016, while the drop in bookings issued from Middle East is considerable.
Top growing destinations regarding bookings for Q1 2017 are distributed throughout the continent
Among the top 10 European destinations, only Istanbul sees a delayed booking situation vs. last year. This is no doubt related to the pressing terror threats and attacks. Unlike in the previous barometer, top growing destinations are not so much related to a sand and seaside experience but display a more varied map of northern and southern cultural corners with cities such as: Madeira, Lisbon, Tallinn, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Madrid, Venice, Seville and Milan.