BUOYANT TRAVEL ENTHUSIASM WILL DRIVE EUROPEAN TOURISM RECOVERY THIS SUMMER, DESPITE ECONOMIC WOES SLOWING 2023 GROWTH PROSPECTS
In the first quarter of 2023, Europe has recovered to about 95% of 2019 levels of international tourist arrivals based on data from reporting destinations. Strong travel enthusiasm has supported this recovery despite stubborn inflation and higher living costs straining consumers’ wallets. Before the peak season, sunseekers will make no concessions on travel and price sensitivity will continue to benefit destinations offering more value for money.
Europe’s tourism will most probably have to navigate the travel disruptions experienced last summer in terms of short-staffed airports and accommodation establishments, and soaring travel costs. Nevertheless, the EU has also demonstrated some economic resilience so far in 2023 with lower energy prices, encouraging employment rates, and gradually receding inflation1. However, risks to the tourism outlook remain and are notably stemming from stubbornly high core inflation and uncertainty around the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
One in four reporting destinations surpassed pre-pandemic levels of foreign tourist arrivals, including value for money destinations such as Serbia (+27%), Bulgaria (+21%), Montenegro (+12%) and Türkiye (+9%).