Despite the cost-of-living crisis, travel flows to Europe remain resilient with the latest data indicating that 2022 will come close to 75 percent of 2019 inbound travel volumes counting on stronger demand for short-haul travel, said the European Travel Commission (ETC).
According to the ETC’s “European Tourism Trends & Prospects” quarterly report, travel in Europe is expected to continue its recovery through to December led by cost-conscious and value-driven travel despite inflationary pressures and airline/airport disruptions. Another positive driver so far has been the return of transatlantic travel spurred by a stronger dollar against European currencies.
However, according to the ETC’s outlook, the upcoming winter will be “difficult” for the tourism sector in Europe “delaying but not derailing” recovery.
According to analysts, an imminent recession and higher inflation are expected to weigh on consumer spending and tourism demand. Looking ahead however, analysts predict low consumer confidence will drive short-haul travel which is usually cheaper. At the same time, the price of holidays will be a key deciding factor.
The ETC notes that Europe stands to benefit from intra-European holidays and domestic travel.
Short-haul travel currently accounts for around 72 percent of total visits in Europe and is set to grow in popularity for the remainder of the year.
“European tourism is proving exceptionally resilient to inflation. While the cost-of-living crisis is causing many to change their approach to travel, it is not dampening their desire to explore Europe completely,” said ETC President Luís Araújo.
“Short-haul travel will be a lifeline for the sector over the next months, as more travelers opt for shorter and closer trips. As we continue to navigate the challenges brought about by global uncertainty, it is crucial to rebuild a sector that keeps sustainability front of mind,” he added.