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ETC Foresees Tourist Arrivals Will Be 20% Below Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2022

The impact of the Omicron variable hit the European tourism sector at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, hampering its recovery, the European Travel Commission confirms in a new report titled “Trends and Prospects for European Tourism”.

In a press release on February 16, ETC expects tourist arrivals to be only 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

In addition, the latest edition of ETC’s “European Tourism Trends and Outlook” quarterly report continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the sector, reports.

Commenting on the publication of the report, ETC President Luis Araujo said that the report clearly shows the stifling impact of the uncertainty caused by Omicron, adding that ETC is optimistic that the European travel sector will overcome Omicron and many other challenges in 2022.

“However, the sector’s resilience hinges on the EU being proactive in developing endemic strategies that will allow for the easing of restrictions on both intra-European and international travel. As we learn to live with COVID-19, governments across Europe must achieve The right balance between managing health risks and facilitating mobility.

The use of an EU digital certificate for COVID-19 and the easing of travel restrictions in 2021 were the primary foundations for reviving tourism.

According to ETC, over the Christmas period, several thousand commercial flights across Europe were canceled due to staff shortages. Although airlines lost 18.5 billion euros in 2021, resulting in 1.4-1.5 billion fewer passengers than in 2019.

Compared to 2019 levels, data so far shows estimates of a 62 percent drop in tourist arrivals to Europe in 2021.

>> COVID-19 restrictions make Europeans less willing to travel

ETC noted that European destinations are recovering at different rates, for example, the lowest declines based on December data were Croatia at -37 percent, France at -39 percent, and Monaco at -40 percent.

Similarly, Finland saw a significant decline with -80 percent and central or eastern destinations such as the Czech Republic with -81 percent, Latvia with -78 percent, Estonia with -77 percent, Slovakia with -76 percent, and Lithuania with -74 percent. cent.

In 2022, travel demand is expected to be 20 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

“While domestic travel is expected to exceed the pre-pandemic peak in 2022, international travel will be slower on absorption and unlikely to fully recover until 2024,” the statement read.

A very positive development occurred during the fourth quarter of 2021 when the resumption of travel between Europe and the United States began, which began in November 2021 and may help the recovery of European tourism in 2022.

ETC also stressed that it hopes that a portion of European travel from the United States will return to pre-pandemic levels.

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