The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys highlight the persistence of recovery for International arrivals in Europe on Q1 2017, marked by the return of positive performance by all subcontinents and very good progression by long haul travellers.
Total International arrivals in Europe grew by 3.5%. This is especially due to the healthy North American market increasing its number of passengers by 6.7% when comparing the same period in 2016. The US market is taking advantage of the USD vs Euro and GBP exchange rate. Asia & Oceania increased their number of passengers, pushed by Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets. Central & South America showed a considerable improvement thanks to Brazil, Argentina and Colombia markets which represents almost 70% of the region.
Meanwhile, Intra European flows (which account for 60% of the total arrivals in Europe) remained at the same level as the previous year. But signs of a growth recovery have been observed. North America shows itself as the healthiest and steadiest market. Africa and Asia & Oceania confirm their improvement, after the drop observed during Q4 2015 and Q1 2016 that affected all of Europe because of the fear of terrorist attacks.
The booking situation shows a significant increase in the number of arrivals in Europe for Q2 2017, most likely due to the shift in Easter holidays occurring in April in 2017 instead of March in 2016. That event is reflected in the bigger share of North America going from 16% in the Q1 2017 to 26% in the bookings for Q2. Central & South America keep on picking up strongly. Meanwhile Middle East went up, reaching 14.7% when compared with same period last year.
Every European city in the Top 10 destination for long haul travellers in volume, except Istanbul, is expected to rise with double digit growth for Q2 2017, as result of the shift in Easter holidays and the troublesome Q2 2016 where terrorism dramatically affected the most important destinations in Europe. German destinations fell in the ranking, with Munich disappearing from the top 10 in favour of Lisbon.
Southern destinations such as Lisbon and Madrid confirm their good performances. London, besides being the preferred European destination, shows fantastic growth for Q2 2017. This is probably due to a better currency exchange ratio.