Chinese tourists continue to put Europe at the top of their favourite destinations despite the relative slow-down in the Chinese economy and any concerns about Brexit, according to the latest figures from the European Travel Commission (ETC) in collaboration with the leading air travel analyst ForwardKeys, which monitors 17 million flight bookings a day.
The data shows there was a 5.1% year-on-year increase in Chinese arrivals in EU destinations during January-December 2018. The ETC says the latest figures show that the EU-China Tourism Year 2018, designed to promote the EU as a tourism destination to the rapidly-growing Chinese market, continues to deliver success.
Over the course of 2018, the top three EU destinations in terms of volume of Chinese arrivals were the UK ( +2.4%), Germany (+2.6%) and France (+7.7%). The three most growing destinations were Croatia (+45.7%), Estonia (+35.8%) and Hungary (+25.1%).
In the context of Brexit, it is interesting to note that if the UK were excluded from the data, the performance of the EU would look even stronger, with arrivals in the whole of 2018 up 5.8%, as opposed to up 5.1% with the UK included. Similarly, looking ahead, forward bookings are 17.7% ahead for the period January-April 2019, as opposed to 16.9% with the UK included.