Due to the gradual easing of restrictions within the European Union, the rapid vaccination rate, the reopening of borders to more third countries and fully vaccinated travelers from abroad, European tourism is expected to rebound in the summer months.
“In light of rapid progress in vaccination programmes, which reduce pressure on national health systems and protect our most vulnerable, Europe is now managing COVID risks well for both locals and long-awaited travelers. Therefore, we believe safe travel is possible this summer,” he said. ETC President Luis Araujo.
According to the latest quarterly report “European Tourism Trends and Prospects” published by the European Travel Commission (ETC), travel demand is expected to increase in the second half of 2021, while international arrivals will remain 49 percent below the previously recorded level. Pre-pandemic in 2019, TheSchengen.com reports.
The same report indicated that the summer season is crucial for the travel and tourism sector as the demand for travel within Europe remained relatively low in the first quarter of 2021. Only during the first three months of this year, the number of international tourists decreased by 83 percent compared to the first quarter of 2021. Same period in 2020.
The reopening is also driven by the strong desire of people to travel again and secured by our sector’s willingness to provide safe and responsible travel experiences. As Europe opens up, it is essential to communicate clear and coherent messages to potential travelers.”
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Europe continues to record a decline in the number of foreign tourist arrivals
Based on the ETC report, the latest data shows that three out of five destinations recorded a drop of more than 80 percent in international tourist arrivals.
In addition, Austria was one of the countries that experienced the largest drop in visitors due to the strict measures imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19. These measures affected the winter tourism sector, which recorded a 97 percent drop in tourist arrivals to the Alpine country.
On the other hand, Croatia had a better year, outperforming other countries by recording a 23 percent increase in visitor arrivals. The country was among the first to abolish entry restrictions on international travelers on the condition that they have been immunized against the disease, submit a negative test result, or have recovered from the virus.
The ETC statement notes that “the latest forecasts show that travel within Europe will account for 83 percent of arrivals to Europe in 2021 compared to 77 percent in 2019”.
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Europe soon to reach the recovery of travel
Travel within EU member states is expected to boost travel demand during the second half of 2021 as long as the epidemiological situation continues to improve and governments gradually ease restrictions.
According to ETC, the latest figures indicated that travel within Europe will account for about 83 per cent of European arrivals during 2020 compared to figures of 77 per cent recorded in 2019.
Furthermore, since the EU’s COVID digital certificate has been fully operational since July 1, travel demand is expected to increase during the summer months.
On the other hand, long-distance travel is expected to recover more slowly, with the US market being the largest contributor to European travel demand growth over the next few years.
Previously, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reported that the European travel and tourism sector suffered a financial decline of 51.4 percent last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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