European tourism enjoyed a sustained expansion amid less relaxed global financial conditions and risks of a disruptive trade war posing a threat to global economic growth. The region saw a +7% increase in international tourist arrivals in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2017. Growth was synchronised with the positive economic conditions in Europe which boosted intra-regional demand and was supported by improved air connectivity, notably from China.
Amidst escalating trade wars and volatile economic conditions, travel demand from Europe’s key long-haul source markets remains solid.
In the US, economic expansion and a stronger dollar underpin sustained income and consumption growth. Virtually all reporting destinations posted growth from this market which is expected to increase by +8% in 2018. Chinese travellers were a source of extensive arrivals growth in several Balkan destinations based on year-to-date data. The Turkey Tourism Year in China supported the upsurge in visitor numbers in Turkey (+87%) while improved air connectivity drove growth in Serbia (+104%), Montenegro (+64%) and Croatia (+41%).