Europe remains one of the most dynamic tourism markets in the world, having seen a strong rebound in international arrivals in 2022 and an acceleration from long-haul markets is expected this year. The importance of foreign visitors for the relaunch of the travel industry emerged from the European Travel Commission.
“Long-haul international tourism generated up to 25% of all arrivals before 2020 – David Goodger, director of Tourism Economics, explained. “And now we expect it to grow steadily. The United States is close to pre-pandemic levels, with an 80% recovery rate.”
For Luis Araujo, president of ETC, “visitors who come from far away tend to spend more and stay for longer periods of time. Therefore, we are collaborating with many destinations to reactivate the long-haul markets. 2023 will certainly be a turning point for the recovery of international tourism.”
According to the latest statistics, the number of long-distance trips to European destinations is still 43 percent below the pre-crisis level. For short-haul trips between European countries, the drop is only 17 percent.
One of the main markets to focus on, indeed to relaunch, is surely China: the recovery is on the way, but it is proving to be slower than expected, according to the speakers. Connections are missing and inflation and economic difficulties in China are also holding back.
“The arrival of Chinese visitors had transformed several destinations in Europe” – Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA declared. “Their absence since 2019 has been felt quite a lot, but the expected return in 2024 will make it possible to invest again in the services that these customers ask for. Furthermore, visas should be streamlined and issued in a prompt manner.”