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European Tourism sees air traffic edging closer to pre-pandemic levels

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has released its “European Tourism: Trends & Prospects” report for the second quarter of 2023, which provides a comprehensive analysis of the region’s latest tourism and macroeconomic developments, reports Globetrender.

So far, the US proves to be the strongest long-haul source market to Europe to date this year, while European air traffic volumes were “edging closer to pre-pandemic levels” in mid-June 2023.

Europe’s tourism recovery is maintaining its momentum despite economic headwinds, reaching about 95 per cent of 2019 levels of international tourist arrivals.

Although inflation and increased travel costs are squeezing consumers’ wallets, travel spending is still prioritised over other discretionary expenses. The latest data available shows that one-quarter of reporting European destinations have surpassed pre-pandemic levels of foreign arrivals.

Miguel Sanz, President, ETC, said, “It is encouraging to see the positive recovery of international tourist arrivals in the first half of 2023. With this in mind, European destinations must be prepared to effectively manage the increased demand and return of travellers.”

“Tourist strategies must embrace travel dispersal in order to support destinations in addressing overcrowding, while also spreading the benefits of tourism to less-travelled areas. Tourism can and should be leveraged as a social, economic, and sustainable force for good.”

The recovery in air traffic volumes was lagging behind consumer demand across Europe in 2022 and early 2023. However, the tide looks to be turning, with data up to June showing recovery edging closer to pre-pandemic levels.

This can be attributed to increased airline capacity across both European and foreign airline carriers, which will hit the market in time for the peak summer months. European flight scheduling is returning to its pre-pandemic 2019 levels, with planned seat capacity at 96 per cent this summer. (Source: Globetrender)


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