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European Tourism: Most Countries Show Positive Results

Publish Time:2017-11-13 15:03:49Source:World Tourism Cities

【Introduction】:European tourism sector is booming. According to the European Tourism Commission s latest report "European Tourism 2017 - Trends & Prospects ", 28 out of the 30 destinations registered growth in the arrivals of foreign tourists in the first half of 2017 - some even in the double-digit range.


On the top of the ranking is Iceland which reported 56 % more tourism arrivals. Significant growth is also reported by Montenegro (+ 25%), Malta (+ 23%) and Cyprus (+ 18%). These countries all show that they can also score increasingly in the off-season.

Finland (+ 18%) and Bulgaria (+ 17%) also belong to the countries boosting European tourism sector. Portugal, Serbia and Croatia (+ 15% each) reported significant increase as well.

Spain (+ 12%), Great Britain and Hungary (+ 11%) are also satisfied. Germany (+ 4.8%), Switzerland (+ 4.9%) and Austria (+ 2.5%), on the other hand, are at the lower end of the table.

In the first half of 2017, only two destinations registered declining arrivals. Turkey lost a further 8.1% of its guests compared to the already catastrophic year 2016, and Norway reported a drop of 7.2%. Italy and Greece did not provide any numbers.

Practically all European destinations profit from the positive economic situation in the euro zone, which has led to a significant increase in the number of tourists from Germany, France and Italy. Most countries also recorded a marked growth from the UK, in particular Croatia (+ 40%) and Bulgaria (+ 26%).

In the case of tourists from Russia, the downturn in the past few years has not yet been fully absorbed, but the trend is clearly positive again – and the forecasts for the next few years as well.

In the US, economic growth and favorable flight conditions also led to more trips abroad, boosting European tourism sector as well. By 2021 an average growth of 6% per year is predicted.

Lower increments were recorded among tourists from China and Japan, which is likely to be due to Europe-wide security concerns. Nonetheless, for both markets, growth of 14% and 5% is expected in the first half of 2017.

London And Vienna Are The Most Popular Business Destinations In Europe

Business trips are a possible indicator of economic growth. If the volume of business travel increases or falls in certain regions, it is possible to draw conclusions about the economy there.

London and Vienna are the most popular business destinations in Europe. Outside Europe, European business travelers travel most frequently to New York and Shanghai.

BC Travel analyzed data connected to business travel and published the results in the latest issue of “Cities & Trends Report”. The report is based on flight booking data from eight major business travel markets in Europe: Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Compared to 2015, there were only minor changes in the ranking of the most popular business destinations in Europe. Top performers in terms of cities are London, Vienna and Amsterdam.

Thanks to an increase of 7.1% in air travel to Barcelona, the city climbed from 9th to 6th place. Madrid is the second Spanish city in the ranking with an increase – 14.9%. It is the number one jumper and has moved to 8th place.

The increase in flights to the two Spanish cities is linked to the recovery of the Spanish economy, which grew by 3.2% in 2016.

In terms of countries, the U.K. is on top, with Germany and Spain in second and third, respectively.

Intercontinental trips from Europe are on the rise. New York and Shanghai remain the first and second in terms of intercontinental business destinations for European business travelers. In 2016, Dubai has overtaken Beijing and Singapore with an increase of 7.5% compared to the previous year.

One of the reason for this is the fact that Dubai is preparing for the World Expo 2020. Many affordable hotels are opening, making it a less expensive place to hold meetings and events.

Country-wise, the United States remain on top of business travel preferences. Developing countries China and India come second and third, respectively

Most business trips take place after the summer holidays in September (9.5%). Due to the holidays, December is the least frequented month (5.6%).

Tourism In Luxembourg: Leisure And Business Sector Growing

Tourism in Luxembourg stabilized last year. Despite diverging rates of success depending on the sector and region, the tourism sector reported positive numbers for the year 2016, according to State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Francine Closener.

In terms of visitation, it is the fifth consecutive record season of the hotel industry, with a total of 1.74 million overnight stays.

In comparison to 2015, this represents an overall increase of 0.2%, with traditional business tourism progressing by +3.1% and leisure tourism up by +2.9%.

However, the MICE sector – convention tourism in Luxembourg – decreased by 14.8%, after having reached a record high a year earlier (especially in the context of the Luxembourg’s presidency of the EU Council).

In comparison to the 2014 levels, the growth rate of the MICE sector – a developing tourism sector – is still positive by 4%.

Regarding the number of the overnight stays in hotels, they increased especially in the Moselle region (+11.2%) as well as the Mullerthal region (+5.8), while they remained stable in the central regions (+0.1%) and went down in the southern regions as well as the Ardennes region (-2.6% and -3.7% respectively).

The occupancy rate of hotels was 72.2%, down by 0.3% when compared to 2015 numbers.

In terms of camping – an activity which is highly dependent on favorable weather conditions – the number of recorded nights spent (984 000 in total) dropped last year by 1.5% but has remained at a high level for the last five years.

This is also true for youth hostels, whose visitation – 35.2% by residents – has increased by 1% in the last twelve months.

Last year, tourism in Luxembourg benefited the most from leisure sites which attracted the most visitors, compared to museums and guided tours of castles.

In terms of tourist attractions, the most appealing options to tourists remain guided tours of the capital (273 480 last year), which surpass the Parc merveilleux de Bettembourg (222 839), the château de Vianden (171 722), the Casemates du Bock (129 682) and the Mullerthal Trail (105 757).

Summer Tourism Season in Paris Was Successful

In July, the occupancy in “Grand Paris” hotels increased by 7% to 72.3% relative to the same period in 2016 – still far below 2015 levels. However the tourism season in Paris has been more or less successful.

The summer tourism season in the city received a “passing grade”. “After a very difficult year for Parisian tourism professionals in 2016, preliminary results for 2017 – especially those for the summer season – attest to a renewed interest in Paris as a destination and make it possible for us to envisage a satisfactory end to the fiscal year,” Pierre Schapira, President of Paris's Conventions and Tourism Bureau stated.

On a cumulative basis, in July and August, the occupancy rate in “Grand Paris” hotels did indeed reach 72.3% - an increase of 7 percentage points compared to the same period in 2016, but down by 6.5 points relative to 2015.The reason for this was the more limited than expected performance during the month of August – occupancy rate of 65% – as well as a decrease in the average duration of stays (2.2 nights on average in July) in addition to the “still partial” recovery of the leisure tourism sector – the primary cause of the worse than expected results in August.

A Record Number of Arrivals

Nevertheless, performance during the summer tourism season in Paris remains high with the highest number of arrivals in the last ten years – 2.2 million (+12.2% relative to 2016). This record-breaking number is explained by the return of French clientele (+13.6%) as well as by the return of North American clients (USA) which, as in the first half of the year, were "at the forefront of the recovery of foreign tourism,” the Office for the City of Paris remarked.

And the autumn season looks promising. Revitalized by major exhibits and trade shows (Batimat, Milipol Paris, “le Salon des maires et des collectivités locales”, etc.) as well as by a significant cultural resurgence (opening of the Yves Saint Laurent museum, reopening of the “Monnaie de Paris”, large-scale autumn exhibits, etc), the autumn season is “offering encouraging attendance prospects for the end of the year”.

Portugal Welcomed More Than 21 Million Tourists in 2017

Tourism in Portugal is ready to celebrate its best year ever. By the end of the year, the country should welcome more than 21 million tourists, above the last year’s hallmark of 19.1 million.

According to the registers of the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, the goal is to grow 10% in comparison to 2016, and, right now, the number is steadily growing above the threshold established in the plan Estratégia Turismo 2027, in which the annual growth of 8% had been set.

The estimates for the hotel industry are also positive. According to the Hotel Industry Association of Portugal, 2017 “will be the third year of growth, something that will consolidate the results”. This increase in demand in hotels was also tailed by the prices paid for hotel units, another element that has registered a significant growth.

The numbers speak for themselves: the number of tourist stays in Portugal has, for the first time ever, surpassed the 30 million in the first seven months of the year, even though the growth of overnight stays, number of guests, and revenue has registered a downturn.

Between January and July, Portugal’s hotel industry registered 32.13 million tourist stays, above the 29.6 million amassed last year.

During the same period. In the same timeframe, the country welcomed 11.6 million guests, above the 10.6 million during the same period of 2016.

All in all, tourism in Portugal now represents 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The Capital Keeps Rising

Lisbon is one of the key markets accountable for this spike.

In July, the hotels reached new records in terms of occupation and revenue. The data published by the National Statistical Institute of Portugal show that, in all regions, the tourist accommodation had more revenue per guest in July than it did a year ago, with Lisbon’s Metropolitan Area having the second strongest growth after Oporto and the Northern Region, with +9.9% or 15.5 million euros.

Actually, the capital’s hotels had the best July since, at least, 2007, both in terms of occupation and revenue, with the only exception being the 5-star sector, which fell 1.4% against last year’s mark.

According to the City Mayor, Fernando Medina, the sector represents about 80 thousand direct jobs and an economic value of about 6300 million euros, in terms of sales.

In other words, it is three times higher than the value amassed by Autoeuropa and four times higher than the whole footwear industry.

Tourist Tax

As Lisbon’s tourism keeps growing, the revenue from the tourist tax already accounts for 15.7 million euros for the capital.

On average, it represents 1.1 million euros per month. This amount – of one euro per night – is charged not only by traditional hotel units, but also by local accommodation places. The latter alone contributed with 4.5 million euros in favor of the City Hall, due to the tourist tax.

The amount gathered by the City Hall is targeted to serve as financing means for several projects in the city. All in all, seven projects have already green light to proceed until 2019, accounting for investments of 33.7 million euros, from which 18.2 million will be directly supported by the Tourism Development Fund of Lisbon, and 15.5 million euros by other entities.

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