Modest ETC outlook for Europe’s 2019 pace of growth
Greece is among the countries recording “solid growth” as a mature travel destination contributing to Europe’s positive performance of 6 percent growth in 2018, according to the European Travel Commission (ETC), which released its European Tourism – Trends & Prospects quarterly report this week.
According to ETC analysts, the rest of 2019 will be a bit slower in terms of growth at around 3.6 percent due to short-term risks including a slowing global economy, trade tensions and political uncertainty.
Indicatively, Europe recorded 6 percent growth in 2018 and 8 percent in 2017.
In the ETC report, Greece was ranked among the top performers for 2018 marking 10.8 percent growth in the number of foreign arrivals compared to a year earlier. Greece was behind Turkey (21.8 percent), Malta Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia.
On the downside however, the number of overnight stays in the country increased by a smaller percentage at around 5 percent in the January to June period, reflecting a shorter average length of stay.
At the same time, although the Greek tourism economy has been growing at three times the rate of the wider economy, the Greek economy is becoming increasingly dependent on tourism, which can be considered a potential source of risk.
Meanwhile, Montenegro (40.6 percent), Turkey (7.4 percent), Ireland Portugal, Croatia and Bulgaria were the top performers for the January-March 2019 period.
“The European tourism industry has yet again proved popular in early 2019. Strong air connectivity, significant promotional activities and strong demand from Europe’s largest long-haul source markets have all played a key part in delivering this growth,” said Eduardo Santander, executive director ETC.
“However, at all times, it is important for us to be conscious of the challenges that lie ahead.”