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European Tourism is Back on Track Despite all Problems

News The European Travel Commission (ETC) recently published the latest volume of its quarterly report named “European Tourism – Trends & Prospects 2019”. This document only proves that despite all potential problems and troubles European tourism is growing and the trend is expected to continue in 2019. Even the trade war between the US and China and not so active Chinese travelers’ demand cannot stop the growth of European tourism. In 2019, the growth rate is expected to reach 3.6%. This is significantly lower than the annual growth rate in 2018 (6.1%) but is similar to the annual results of 2008-20018.

If you have always dreamt of visiting Montenegro, it is the best time to book a hotel in Podgorica and start planning a vacation to this Balkan country as the country is the leader in terms of arrivals growth. Montenegro posts a fantastic increase of 50%! Slovenia and Greece have also become hot destinations recently – the growth of arrivals estimated 8% for both countries. Montenegro benefits from improved air transport connection and promotional activities of local travel authorities. Slovenia, in its turn, greatly benefits from the winning bid of Ljubljana as the next ITB (the world’s biggest tourism fair) destination.

At the same time, such destinations as Iceland and Romania suddenly reported declines of -11% and -7% respectively for January – April 2019. In the case of Iceland, which was recently a trendy destination, the reason is simple – local low-cost carrier WOW Air collapsed in March, making it more expensive to reach the country. Estonia also posted a negative result of 2%. It was mostly caused by fewer visits from Russia, one of the main source markets for Estonia. The year-on-year arrivals from Russia are 8.7% down.

The US and China remain the most important long-haul source markets for Europe. Their shares estimated 11% and 4% respectively. Chinese travelers have been increasingly interested in the Balkan countries and Mediterranean destinations. The growth in tourist arrivals says it all: Montenegro +150%, Cyprus +62%, Croatian +44%. Vilnius hotels and Lithuania, in general, have attracted significantly more travelers from China as well – the growth reached 77%.

Travelers from the United States have become interested in Greece (+47%), Turkey (+37%), and Cyprus (+33%). That being said, this positive data is not enough to assume that this year is going to be strong for the tourism of the region. Maintaining growth in 2019 will be a lot more complicated than a year ago. It may be supported by a number of promotional activities such as the EU-China Tourism Year in 2018.


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