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4 Feb, 2012

New Report Out: European Tourism 2011 – Trends & Prospects

Brussels, 30 January 2012. (www.visiteurope.com) – Although 2011 will prove to have been a record year for travel to Europe, the latest report by the European Travel Commission says that the Eurozone economic crisis is set to have a significant impact in 2012.

According to Leslie Vella, Chairman, ETC Market Intelligence Group, “Last year will prove to have been a record year for travel to Europe. International visits are on pace to grow 6% for the year, surpassing the peak set in 2008. The recovery is broad, with nearly every destination posting growth for 2011.

“Through November, European airlines served 5% more passengers than in 2010 and continue to expand access by adding capacity. Hotels also indicate strong performance with a 3.2% gain in occupancy and a rate increase of 2.7% through November.”

Download the full report by clicking here.

According to the report, however, “The expected late-year slowdown of travel to Europe came to fruition. Available data for visits and nights, and hotel and airline industry data all point to the same story: the recovery of travel and tourism across Europe is fading. Arrivals and nights growth has tailed off for approximately 75% of destinations. Hotel occupancy in Europe has increased 3.2% through November, but has slipped since August.”

Mr Vella says that the combination of fiscal austerity and financial market stress brought about by the Eurozone debt crisis is affecting both consumer and business behaviour. And, the spectre of a global recession is not an insignificant risk as even emerging markets have begun to slow.

“As a result, both regional and long haul travel markets face stiff headwinds over the next two years. Tourism Economics now forecasts visits to all of Europe are expected to decline just over 1% in 2012 and with just moderate growth of 0.8% expected for 2013. Countries in the EU are expected to experience the brunt of the contraction, especially Western and Southern Europe.”

According to the report, “The financial crisis in the Eurozone has continued to worsen in recent months. Problems in sovereign debt markets have spread from Greece, Ireland and Portugal to Spain and Italy – posing a much more severe threat of global financial contagion.

“If the Eurozone authorities fail to arrest the alarming slide in financial and business confidence, the consequences would be severe. In the event of a Eurozone break-up, GDP could initially fall by around 10% in the exiting countries and the attendant financial disruption would plunge much of the world, including the United States, back into recession.”

The full report contains a detailed analysis of the Eurozone crisis entitled, “Global Outlook: Will the Eurozone crisis sink the global economy?”

Many thanks to the European Travel Commission for making this quality information available free of charge in order to help the industry make realistic and practical business decisions.