The European Travel Commission (ETC) has revealed that Europe is expected to recover nearly 75% of 2019 travel volumes by the end of this year.
Data provided by ETC shows that EU airlines have also fared well this summer, with flight volumes in August falling just 11% below 2019 levels, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the ETC report, it is expected that the return of travel to the EU will continue for the remaining months of 2022.
“However, winter will not be without threats, as a looming recession and higher inflation across Europe will weigh on consumer spending and tourism demand, delaying but not derailing the recovery. The protracted war in Ukraine and additional travel restrictions for Russian tourists across Europe will also delay recovery in Eastern Europe,” read the report.
Commenting on the data, ETC President Luís Araújo pointed out that although the cost of living crisis has caused people to change their approach to travel, the desire to explore Europe remains strong.
He also added that short-distance travel would be a lifeline for tourism in the coming months as more travelers choose shorter, closer trips.
As ETC also explains in its press release, travelers will favor short-haul trips as they tend to be more economical.
Families with lower disposable income will find it easier to travel within the EU, as domestic travel tends to be cheaper than long-distance alternatives. In this regard, short-distance travel currently accounts for around 72% of total European visits. The same is expected to gain popularity throughout the remaining months of the year.
As for long-distance travel within the EU, it has yet to fully recover as it is hampered by restrictions and lingering negative sentiment from Asia and the Pacific. On the other hand, the Chinese market has shown minimal progress towards recovery due to the slower lifting of travel limitations.
Additionally, ETC says hope must be preserved in long-haul travel as transatlantic tourism is boosted by US vacationers benefiting from the strength of the US dollar, which last year was estimated to be around 20% stronger. against the euro. .
According to the latest data, three of the five reporting countries have so far recovered at least 70% of US travel volumes for 2019.
Among the destinations that topped travel demand in 2019 were Turkey (+61%), which saw the largest return, followed by Portugal (+17%), Lithuania (+7%), Montenegro (+ 6%). ) and Poland (+6%).