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Europe is Still the #1 Tourist Destination

News The rising popularity of different regions in the world still cannot compete with Europe. Once again it proved to be the most visited region in the world. In 2018, Europe only strengthened its leading position, attracting 6% more tourists than a year ago. Even such difficulties as trade tensions, the slowdown in both Eurozone and China, and Brexit couldn’t slow down the growth. The following information is published in European Tourism -Trends & Prospects 2018 report prepared by the European Travel Commission.

An interesting fact – almost all destinations in Europe perform well. Actually, 32 out of 33 reporting destinations managed to increase the number of tourists compared to 2017. Some countries show particularly strong results. For example, Turkey enjoyed an increase in tourist arrivals of 22%. Weak Lira is one of the reasons for such success. Serbia is the second fastest growing destination in Europe. This country offers visa-free access to holders of Chinese passports, so it particularly benefits from the growing number of Chinese guests. The country reported 15% arrivals in the first 11 months of 2018 compared to the same period of 2017.

Malta revealed only January to August 2018 data, and it also shows a growth of 15%. Without a doubt, Malta’s efforts to rebrand itself as a year-round resort are successful. Among other top performers in Europe, it is important to mention Montenegro (+14%) that continues the development of its tourism infrastructure. Latvia (+10%) is the only Central/Eastern European country with double-digit growth.

The US and China were strong source markets for Europe in 2018. As we can see, travelers from these countries do not just book a hotel in Paris or London but want to see less discovered places as well. Strong dollar made it more beneficial for tourists from the US to travel to Europe. More Chinese visitors could visit Europe in 2018 thanks to improved air connectivity and faster visa obtaining.

Last year, Europe was the destination of more than half (51%) of all tourist arrivals in the world. Taking into consideration potential risks and problems, experts predict the growth in international arrivals of approximately 3% in 2019. The continuous uncertainty regarding Brexit will definitely have a negative impact on the tourism sector of the region. Increased passport regulation and economic drivers might result in 8 million fewer trips to Europe from the UK.


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