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Travel to Europe decreases during the 2016 summer season

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

istiklal street tramA new data from ForwardKeys, which analyzes over 14 million airline booking transactions a day, shows that long haul travel to Europe during the 2016 summer season decreases by 0.9% compared to last year. Growth in late June and early July, fueled by the UEFA Cup and Ramadan ending two weeks earlier than last year, was offset by a consequent decline in late July and early August.

Looking ahead, the prospects of a revival are not encouraging, with bookings for the coming month currently trailing where they were at the equivalent time last year by 1.4%

The poor summer of 2016 ends a period of strong growth which has seen inbound travel growing by around 6.2% per annum for the past five years. Olivier Jager, ForwardKeys Co-founder and CEO said: “High-profile events such as UEFA’s European Cup and World Youth Day in Poland could not offset the damage caused by security concerns. A spate of bombings in Turkey and terrorist incidents in France have evidently deterred tourists from visiting major European countries; however, there has been a surge of interest in second tier destinations.”

Looking specifically at the June 1st to August 31st period, major destinations such as the UK (-1.3%), Italy (-2.6%), Germany (-4.1%) and in particular France (-9.6%) and Turkey (-26.7%), dropped being affected by security concerns. Second-tier destinations offset the decline, showing strong growth, especially Spain (+10.0%), Portugal (+5.2%), Scandinavian countries (+6.1%), Ireland (+18.1%), Russia (+19.0%) and Poland (+26.1%).

Olivier commented: “Much of the growth was due to holidaymakers switching away from mainstream destinations and the Pope’s visit to Poland but we also saw a major influx of Chinese visitors to Russia.”

When one looks at the origin markets, both North and South America grew, by 2.5% and 4.6% respectively but travel from the rest of the world fell – by 2.8% from Africa, by 2.4% from Asia Pacific and by 1.0% from the Middle East.

The national markets showing the greatest decline were China, down 3.7%; South Africa, down 7.7%; the UAE, down 13.0%; Brazil down 14.7% and Japan down 18.0%. Brazil’s decline was due to its struggling domestic economy but concern about security was the principal factor deterring visitors from the Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

Click here for the full report

Booking.com
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