It’s been a strong year for tourism in Europe with outbound travel surpassing forecasts and destinations posting positive figures, paving the way for an even better outlook in 2018, according to a survey carried out by IPK International on behalf of ITB Berlin.
City trips and beach holidays have driven growth in the first eight months of 2017, with outbound travel by Europeans up by 5.5 percent – ahead of a forecast 4 percent increase – in the first eight months of the year, according to the World Travel Monitor® report. Long-haul travel, meanwhile, has slowed down, including a downturn in trips to the US from some European source markets.
“This strong performance reflects positive economic trends and a high level of confidence in traveling. Europe remains one of the top drivers of world travel growth,” said Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International.
At the same time, Russia made a comeback this year as a strong source market with outbound trips there up by 18 percent in the January-August period. Other top performers included Poland, Netherlands and France.
The report further found that Europeans preferred to stay relatively close to home in 2017, recording a 6 percent rise in trips to destinations within Europe between January and August.
Most Europeans travel for pleasure with the number up by 6 percent in the first eight months of this year, well ahead of last year’s 2 percent growth for the same period, the World Travel Monitor® found.
It was all about ‘sun & beach’ this year with an above-average 7 percent increase against zero growth last year. City trips were also popular in the same period marking a 20 percent rise with overall average spending per trip higher by 4 percent to 945 euros.
For next year, IPK International is forecasting a 4 percent rise in European outbound travel with strong growth expected from the UK and Russia.
IPK also predicts strong demand from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, while Europe’s largest outbound travel market, Germany, is expected to show solid growth of about 2 percent.
ITB Berlin 2018 is set to take place on March 7-11.