From time to time it is worth looking up from the Polish tourist market and watching what happens in Europe. The opportunity in this case is offered by the opening conference of ITB 2018 held by Mr Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International and promoter of World Travel Monitor®. The topic of the conference was the dynamic of the world tourist demand in 2017 and the forecasts for 2018. Mr Freitag has drawn the global trends based on the outcomes of the surveys carried out in over 60 countries (if interested click here).
Below an extract of the whole speech, the part related to the European market.
The global travel industry again set new records over the first eight months of 2017, IPK‘s World Travel Monitor® found. These are the key percentage growth figures for outbound trips, by region and by holiday type (selection):
However, worried about possible terror threats, a high 41% of international travelers might change their travel plans for 2018, with 33% considering shifting to an alternative destination they see as safer, according to World Travel Monitor® figures. But the real risk on an international trip is from crime or health problems.
STRONG YEAR FOR EUROPEAN OUTBOUND TRAVEL
So far, 2017 has been a very positive year for travel and tourism in Europe with very good growth in outbound trips and good performances by many destinations across the region over the first eight months of the year. City trips are continuing to boom and beach holidays have grown much more strongly than in 2016 but long-haul travel by Europeans has slowed down, including a downturn in trips to the USA from some European source markets. Looking ahead, another good year is forecast for 2018.
CURRENT TREND SO FAR EVEN EXCEEDING LAST YEAR’S FORECAST
Outbound travel by Europeans grew by 5.5% in the first eight months of 2017, according to World Travel Monitor® figures. This s well ahead of the 3% growth seen in 2016 as a whole and the original forecast of a 4% increase for this year. “This strong performance reflects positive economic trends and a high level of confidence in travelling. Europe remains one of the top drivers of world travel growth,” declared Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International. The most spectacular source market this year was Russia where outbound trips increased by 18% between January and August. Other top performers in terms of outbound growth were amongst others Poland, Netherlands and France.
HIGHEST GROWTH FOR OUTBOUND TRAVEL WITHIN EUROPE, SOME DROPS TO US
In terms of destinations, Europeans again generally preferred to stay relatively close to home this year, generating a 6% rise in trips to destinations within Europe between January and August, according to World Travel Monitor® figures. When looking at European long-haul travel, last year’s trends also continued in the first eight months of this year. There was a 3% increase for Asia but trips to the Americas, including the USA, dropped by 3%. “This might reflect a so-called ‘Trump effect’ in some European outbound markets as visitors are put off travelling to the US,”
SUN & BEACH AND CITY TRIPS FURTHER ON THE RISE
In terms of the purpose of outbound trips, the number of holiday trips by Europeans increased by 6% in the first eight months of this year, which was well ahead of last year’s 2% growth for the same period, according to World Travel Monitor® figures. In particular, Europeans flocked back to the beach this year with an above-average 7% increase in the number of ‘sun & beach’ holidays following zero growth last year. City trips also remained very popular over the first eight months of this year with a 20% rise, after a 15% rise in 2016. The overall average spend per trip increased by 4% to 945 euros.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR 2018
Looking ahead, IPK International is forecasting a 4% rise in European Outbound travel in 2018. Particularly strong growth is expected from the UK (+6%) despite the weaker pound and Russia (+6%) which would confirm this year’s comeback. Good demand is also predicted from Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Meanwhile, Europe’s largest outbound travel market, Germany, is once again expected to show solid growth of about 2%. These forecasts are based on IPK’s World Travel Confidence Index, which is compiled annually based on the views of the survey.
ITB “World Travel Trend Report 2017/18, Boom or Boost, where is the tourism heading?” Prepared by IPK International