Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

7 Sep, 2016

Terrorist fears lead to decline in European visitor arrivals

07/09/2016, (European Cities Marketing media release) – The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer* produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys highlight that terrorist fear is weakening arrivals in Europe for Q2 2016.

During Q2 2016 international arrivals decreased considerably

As a result of the rising threats of terrorist attacks in Europe, the international flows decreased significantly in Q2 2016, down by -3%. This situation is the result of a stagnation in long haul travellers (+0.5%) and a deep negative trend in the Intra-European flows (-5.3%).

The Americas are the only ones that saw healthy growth: +2.9% for North America and +2.4% for Central and South America.

Meanwhile, the remaining regions were hampered noticeably: Middle East figures sank by -8.5%, primarily attributable to the Ramadan shift and Asia and Oceania’s zero growth is mainly due to Japanese travellers declining flows.

Long haul travellers favourite destinations stay the same but other destinations are growing

The leaders, in terms of volume, are still London and Paris as main destinations for long haul travellers in Q2 2016. Paris, considering the huge declines since November, remains resilient, partially helped by the UEFA Football cup. Istanbul, in a similar situation, lost 4 places.

The fastest growing destination city in Europe during Q2 2016 was Valencia, up by +25.9%. Tallinn took the 2nd place with a healthy increase of +25.7%.

International bookings to Europe for Q3 2016 are declining

Bookings from long haul travellers for arrivals in Q3 2016 as of June 30th are down by -0.9% consolidating the latest trend. Bookings by North American market are up by +3.3%, likely due to healthy economy, supported by a strong dollar and positive signs in the job market.
The Intra European market is down by -6.9% and Asia & Oceania, formerly one of the top performers, is down by -4.8%, hampered by poor Japanese performance, and uncertainty in European safety.

Paris and Istanbul, directly impacted by terrorism, are the most decreasing cities in term of bookings for Q3 2016: they are down by respectively -12.9% and -29.9%. London figures decreased by -4.8% but after the referendum and the sterling depreciation, this trend could improve in the coming weeks. Spanish cities (Barcelona and Madrid), Rome and Amsterdam are in the spotlight for long haul travellers.

All ECM members have exclusive access to the complete European Cities Marketing-ForwardKeys Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer with all the graphs and analysis.


*This analyse is based on Air Reservation Data propriety of ForwardKeys® as of June 30, 2016.

Perimeter: Includes air reservations made by passengers arriving in Europe and staying at least one night in destination, therefore excluding:

“Transits”, “Day trips”, “One-way trips” and “Returns”.

Arrival period: 1 April – 30 June 2016 vs. 1 April – 30 June 2015

Booking situation for next quarter: 1 July – 30 September 2016 vs. 1 July – 30 September 2015 according to bookings issued as of 30 June 2016 and as of 30 June 2015.