European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys announced new results of the Air Travelers’ Traffic Barometer which reveals 3.2 percent increase in international arrivals in 2014 compared to 2013 thanks to continuing growth in long-haul markets especially from Asia Pacific and Middle East.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Asia & Pacific continued driving the growth in long-haul arrivals to Europe, compensating the severe decrease in Africa (-6.9%) caused partly by the Ebola outbreak.
Regaining its bigger market share of 67% during winter season, intra-European flow, however, suffered a modest decrease of -1%, mostly due to the collapse of Russia & Ukraine markets in November and December 2014.
Yearly performance showed overall constant growths in all source subcontinents (+3.2%), despite the slowing down in the last quarter.
Solid market shares were seen in solo and couple travelers, last-month bookers, as well as vacationers staying 6 to 13 nights, for the fourth quarter of 2014. However the fastest growths were seen in group traveler (+32.7%) as well as early booker segment (+11.8%).
Current forward bookings trends for international arrivals in Europe during the first quarter of 2015 show a depressing situation for intra-regional (-0.3%) and African (-2.5%) flows while Asia & Pacific and Middle East perform above the promising average long-haul growth with respectively +17.6% and +16.1% growth compared to the first quarter of 2014.
Top 5 destinations in terms of market share remain the same for both historical and expected arrivals, among which Paris, Istanbul, and Rome stand out in advanced bookings compared to previous year.
European countries should continue to promote themselves in Middle East and Asia Pacific at same or higher levels in order to keep tourist traffic at same level or higher.