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12 May, 2011

European Tourism Trends & Prospects (Q1/2011) Report Released

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its First Quarter report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects. Destination and industry data indicate a positive start to 2011, with continued growth prospects. Rail Europe has also announced a 34% sales growth in 2010 vs. 2009 and a 30% growth in Q1 2011 vs. Q1 2010.


Brussels, 11 May 2011 (ETC Press Release) — The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects. The following gives a brief overview of the report:

  • Destination and industry data indicate a positive start to 2011. Foreign visitor arrivals were reported higher through the beginning months of the year by most destinations.
  • Both airline and hotel industry data confirm the continuation of travel growth to Europe, however at a more measured pace than experienced during the peak growth periods of 2010.
  • International passenger traffic to Europe outpaced global growth over the first two months of the year. European airlines also report growth in traffic over the first 14 weeks of 2011, but growth has slowed over recent weeks.
  • Hotel occupancy has improved further, but appears to have peaked. Average Daily Rates continue to push up across Europe in response to demand.
  • We expect the overall growth trend to slow in 2011 as comparisons are made to stronger performance in 2010 and high energy prices affect both disposable income and transportation costs.
  • Wage spiral inflation is unlikely in the developed economies as unemployment and spare capacity persist. Capacity utilisation is higher in emerging markets where food and energy prices are also having a bigger impact, thus more monetary tightening is expected.
  • The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake will affect the Japanese economy and consequently outbound travel considerably in the short run. Japan is likely to briefly re-enter recession in 2011 with a 10% drop in outbound travel. A considerable rebound is expected on both fronts in 2012.
  • Capacity of European airlines continues to expand, carrying on the trend from late 2010. Capacity surged between late 2010 and early 2011, averaging a 7.8% increase in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) over the first 14 weeks of 2011. This should translate into competitive fares and act as a driver to travel demand over the next 6-8 months.
The full report can be downloaded here.


Rail Europe Announces Highest First Quarter Revenues Ever

Paris, 11th May 2011 — Rail Europe has announced what it calls “impressive results” for both 2010 and the first quarter 2011. With a turnover in excess of 137M€, the company achieved in 2010 a 34% growth vs. 2009. In Q1 2011, sales are up by 30% vs. Q1 2010.

“We couldn’t be happier with the performance of our business”, says Pierre-Stephane Austi, CEO of Rail Europe. “2010 was a fantastic year, with all markets, all channels and all product lines contributing to the growth. What’s more, Q1 results are brilliant — we are thrilled to report the highest first quarter revenues and profit in Rail Europe’s history — and future looks even brighter”.

Rail Europe’s success is the result of a comprehensive strategy, supporting the expansion of the company. The constant broadening of the catalogue with more products and aggressive promotions, the improvement of the support to the network with better tools and new technical solutions and a strong growth of internet sales are key element which explain these results.

In the coming months, Rail Europe will pursue its growth through major initiatives such as

  • the signature of a direct distribution agreement with Renfe (Spanish Railways), allowing allows access to the lowest fares and e-tickets through a direct connection to the Spanish inventory;
  • the launch of “Print at home” tickets (e-tickets) for best-selling products such as French TGV, Eurostar or Thalys services;
  • the strengthening of its support and fulfilment centres all over the world to back the prompt increase of web sales and bring an unmatched service to its partners;
  • the implementation of an intensive partnership program with major tourism industry actors.

Rail Europe is the #1 distributor of train tickets and rail passes in the world, selling through appointed sales agents and directly on the web through localised websites (local currency, local language, local service). For more information about Rail Europe products, to purchase a pass or a ticket, please consult your Rail Europe travel agent. Contact details to be found on www.raileurope.fr.