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European Tourism 2024 – Trends & Prospects (Q2/2024)

Publication date:
Jul 2024

Language:
English

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Summary

Positive momentum for European tourism heading into the summer high season

Tourist activity in Europe has largely followed a similar trend throughout the first two quarters of 2024. International travel has been growing across the continent compared to last year, with foreign arrivals up 12% and overnights up 10% based on data from reporting European destinations. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, the increases are 6% and 7%, respectively. Southern European destinations have driven European tourism growth and remain consistently popular for their favourable climatic conditions in the lead-up to the summer season, as well as their value-for-money, which remains a key driver for travellers as well.

Year-to-date data from reporting countries shows that across the three main inbound travel metrics (arrivals, overnights and spending) the majority of European destinations are now reporting increases over 2019 levels. Similar to last quarter, Serbia (+40%), Malta (+37%), Bulgaria (+29%), Portugal (+26%), and Türkiye (+22%) noted the highest growths in foreign arrivals, while the three Baltic countries, Lithuania (-15%), Estonia (-16%) and Latvia (-24%) remain at the other end of the scale. For foreign overnights, it is worth noting that Denmark (+38%), Norway (+18%) and Sweden (+9%) have all seen large increases. While these countries do not report arrivals data, the surge in their popularity is evident. Lastly, the strongest growth in inbound spending can be found in Spain (+25%), Greece (+25%), Italy (+20%), and France (+16%), though this is based on a small sample of countries for which data is available.

In 2024, the operational costs for tourism businesses and, thereby, the costs of travel for consumers remain one of the most prominent themes for the global industry. Besides, the appeal of value for money in non-traditional destinations, coupled with the return of travellers from the Asia-Pacific, and the growing availability of rail travel are increasingly shaping Europe’s tourism landscape.